article from Lifeline Children's Services Joi Wasill.
His name is Malcolm.
I met him last Spring at an after school program where I was involved with a pilot teen mentoring project regarding sexual purity and teen pregnancy. This was our third afternoon together and I had just shared a very difficult section of the DCO program with these inner city kids: the impact of fatherlessness on children and our society. Realizing the fact that over 70% of African American children live in mother-only homes, I knew that the majority of these kids were living the statistics we just covered. It is always hard sharing this information with a group of teens when you know that. In order for them to see the need to make changes in their own lives, however, the truth must be shared.
As I put my projector, laptop and materials away, Malcolm came back into the room. Before they leave the center, they are all fed a meal and he had his plate of spaghetti with him. He sat down. I wasn’t sure why he came in there with me as all of the other kids were eating out in the main room together. It was just me and Malcolm.
He said, “You know that stuff you said about kids not having a father?” I took a deep breath and said “yes”. “You are right. All I have ever wanted my whole life is for my dad to be there. I play football and I’m pretty good. He has never seen me play. He came around a little when I was a kid but I never see him anymore. I just don’t matter to him.” And then he began to cry.
I thought my heart would burst open. I sat down beside this big, strong, football playing child and hugged him real tight and told him how sorry I was that he was hurting. I prayed for him. We talked and then I left for the night. But Malcolm and I had shared a heart bonding experience that night. He would talk to me, help me carry things to my car and volunteer to do things with our project. His words forever etched on my heart: “I just don’t matter to him.”
Desire for a Daddy
As the director of the Decisions, Choices & Options teen education program for the past 11 years, I know all of the stats on fatherlessness, the impact it is having on our society and the horrible consequences it has for children. With over 41% of all children born in our country to unmarried mothers, it is a trend we must speak about, pray about and work to change. Every child across the globe shares the desire of Malcolm and his friends at the Boys & Girls club: they want a daddy. Every person created by our Sovereign God shares the desire to have a daddy, an ABBA, Father. Our first images and possibly lifelong impression of God will be formed by the impact of our earthly fathers. I thank God for my earthly father and how he taught me about God, showed me unconditional love and care and is a wonderful example of sacrificial fatherly love. But there are so many Malcolms out there. Both physically and spiritually their hearts cry out for Daddy.
“Fatherless No More”
As we seek to share the hope of the gospel, the benefits of adoption and the love provided by Christian families to children in foster care, may we seek God daily for his guidance, power, protection and wisdom. Malcolm and millions of orphans worldwide are depending on us to speak for them. We have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness by the marvelous grace of our loving, merciful Father. He longs to use us to help rescue children and families from the darkness of fatherlessness. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could say that our world is “Fatherless No More”?
Oh, and l saw Malcolm a few weeks ago. We started our teen mentoring program again and he just happened to stop by that day. We shared a big hug. I pray that one day he will know his heart’s desire: the love of his Abba, Father.
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”. Romans 8:15