I had no idea who Terry Moyer was before I met him and to this day I haven’t been able to find him again. He came into my life, at a really low, hard time as a young man, and it changed me forever. A man speaking over me. A man giving me something that I desperately longed for but didn’t know I needed. I didn’t know till later just how much he did for me. Much later.
Father’s Day is the worst and best day of the year. It all depends on which side of the street you were raised. I am sitting on a plane almost in tears as I think about this whole idea. The love of my kids toward me on Father’s Day. The gift of my family being intact. The kindness of the kids who I have mentored over the years who connect with me and shared that I mattered as a father figure. It fills my cup from deep inside. I long for it from a place that feels so important.
I agreed to mentor a boy recently. He just turned 8. His mom could not handle him, his dad is non-responsive. He lives with grandma. I could not help but think, man this kid is going to be mad as heck when he grows up and finds out his dad was there, in the same town, the whole time. That isn’t going to be good.
The longing of a boy to be with his dad. To know him. To hear his dad tell him he is important, he did good, he matters. It is so deep and real. At 63 I have moments where I long for it. I sometimes wonder what my dad would say about who I have become, about my family. Maybe a word of advice. He is long since gone but is still a part of me in some real way.
An absent father can create a cavernous dark place that bleeds inside a boy his whole life. The process of healing those kinds of wounds can take a long time, if ever. A female counselor, grandmother, or mom cannot replace or repair the gap left in a boy’s heart from a missing father. They can love and care for him well, of course. But don’t mistake the fact that it takes a man to give a boy the ancient things a boy needs.
Jesus knew it was time to begin His works. He sought out His cousin, John the Baptist to be baptized. As he shook off the water from his face, standing in the river, God spoke over Him. “This is my son whom I am well pleased.” Validation, release, launching, ordaining. It was then that Jesus was ready, and his Father told him so.
Men of KOZ, I want you to know how critical you are to the boys in your group. Your words to them, your hand on their shoulder, you listening to them talking. Oh, brothers it is epic, deep, transforming. Jesus was passionate about us caring for the widows and the fatherless. You could not be doing anything more important in your work for Jesus than letting your KOZ boys know they are important.
Terry Moyer talked to me, a fatherless street kid. He made me feel like I was there, he saw me, heard me. I longed for time with him and hung on the words he spoke over me. He also shared Jesus with me in a way that was unlike anything I had experienced before. He fathered me and I was moved to ask Jesus in my heart and be baptized. It was years later I realized what he had done. His mentoring brought me to the foot of the cross and I had the Holy spirit inside me When my Heavenly Father was ready He validated me, released me, launched me, ordained me. Mr. Moyer mentored me for less than a year.
I realized today that it was not the length of time but it was that he really was there. He was committed to the work of Jesus in this kid. KOZ men, as we go into Father’s Day I want to encourage you to connect with all of your KOZ boys. Give them a call, drop them a note. Let them know you see them, they matter. You are incredible ministers for our true Father. I am so grateful for you, to stand with you. These Southwest Airlines napkins don’t wipe tears well. The guy next to me must think something is bad wrong. I don’t care. I love you guys. Happy Father’s Day to those of you with a great dad, those who long for an earthly dad. You are changing the world and your Heavenly Father is proud of you. Job well done. Now, mount up.