“Your children are dying, Hansie”, is what she said to me. I did not see it like that until she phrased it, but that in fact is what has happened in the past year. This mother of one of “my” children that passed away verbalised what was in my heart and mind. It was hidden away because, I guess, of the pain that goes with this. A bit less than a year ago her daughter passed away, in her 30’s and then the end of the year a dear friend, 35 passed away. I was in a conversation with this mother about some aspects of a property of her daughter that she had asked me about.
I was a father to them
This started a thought process for me leading from thought to thought. Both these young people did not have a father that could be a father to them. I was probably the closest to a father that they would ever experience. In both instances I had an inkling or thought that I should see them shortly before their respective deaths. In both cases I did not follow through on that well enough to be able to see them. I knew that they were not well, but I did not expect to get the message of them passing. In my mind’s eye I would see them at my funeral and not the other way round. It does not seem to be the norm. I am much older and I should go first ….
They were not my biological children, but in many respects I was a father to them. Reflecting on our relationships again, I could have done more. We never know how much time we have left to assist another or to speak into their lives or the help them. We do not know how much time we have to teach them things or to model things or behaviour to them.
Fatherlessness is a challenge – get “children”
Worldwide, but in particular in South Africa as well, we have a challenge with “fatherless”ness. There is still time for you to be a father (or mother) to someone else. I also know that I want to do more for my own children, but there are many more children that you and I will be able to impact.
One of the questions for today is: “if my child has completed his schooling and training and he is without a job, how could I assist him or her?” Now you may say that this is not your problem, but let us assume for one minute that you “adopt” three children without a father as a father. Nothing formal through the adoption channels, but formal through commitment to assist them, what would you do? You find that they do not have “jobs”. How will you assist them? Will you help them find opportunities? Will you help them by providing not only a small amount of capital, but also financial intelligence?
My challenge to you today for this year and for the decade ahead is this: BECOME A FATHER!
If you could impact the life of one person you would impact the lives of hundreds of his children, grandchildren and grand grand children and beyond. As a father you may impact a nation. Pray about this and let’s do it!
19 January 2019