I remember back when I was probably just 14 years old, living in foster care with a nice Christian family. In my time living with them, they had four children of their own. I remember the changing of diapers, burping babies, and the regular feeding and attention that was needed. What I remember most though, were the many, many times that any one or more of the four children, from infancy to small child, would come sit with me in the rocking chair. It wasn’t wooden, but rather a nice recliner that rocked well. I remember so many times when they would jump up in my lap and put their heads on my chest. I would gently push my feet against the floor and begin the smooth sway of the chair, backward and forward. I was far from a perfect teenager, but I will tell you that in those moments things felt and seemed pretty perfect. I really loved those moments, and have never forgotten them.
One day in the rocking recliner, while I was holding one of the children in my lap, head upon my chest, I had an epiphany. Having come out of horrific abuse, and not having been the recipient of much love myself, this was an experience I had not known myself as a small child. I remember sitting in that rocker and asking God if I could one day have my own child(ren) to hold in my lap and rock gently. I realized the great value and importance of holding and being held, of special intimacy and closeness between humans, in developing bonds and connections.
Yesterday, I cried. So, to be honest, I guess that it is not terribly uncommon for me to shed a tear or two. I am a bit expressive as a human being, and not at all afraid to be in touch with my very innermost emotions and feelings, without having some complex about being weak. But yesterday I cried… and let me explain why.
In recent months God has provided the means for my wife and I to be able to be renting a house, rather than an apartment, and with so much more space we have been able to invest in a nice rocking recliner. With our newborn son, Jedidiah, he needs a lot of attention. Yesterday, after he had fallen asleep, I had him tucked in my left arm, against my chest, as I rocked gently in the recliner. As I looked down at his precious face and body, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a realization. God had answered my prayer request from my teen years! My eyes welled up and yep, you guessed it, I cried. The tears were of joy, of healing, and of great hope. I am trying to break a very destructive generational cycle of curses, poverty, abuse, and neglect. I am trying to establish a godly family and home, where my child(ren) will never be able to experientially understand the depravity, neglect, and abuse I had suffered as a child. I cried in joy of knowing that yet another part of my story of life points to Jesus, shows success, and values precious children.
My work as a missionary, advocate, and champion for precious children would be far less effective, in my personal opinion, if my personal life is not also challenged and called to fight for my own child(ren). Jedidiah has stole my heart, and has caused more tears (of fear, anxiety, pain, and joy) than I could ever have imagined. Just to mention his name sometimes causes me to well up with tears of great joy. Yesterday, as he lay in my arm, I looked down at him and I cried… in gratitude to God, joy for his life, fear for how cruel this world is, and with a great hope that we will get to have many more moments and experiences throughout his life that will be intimate, beautiful, and full of great love and hope because of God being his and my center and fountain of life.
I also cried though, thinking of the millions of beautiful and precious children who have no one to love them, care for them, fight for them, or even to hold them gently as they get rocked in a recliner. Jedidiah has a daddy who will fight for him until my last breath, but oh so many children do not. May God raise up a generation of great daddies and mommies, who want to hold, help, love, and bless their children well, all for God’s glory.
Would you be a part of those who would help Abogar to offer precious children the opportunity to have a daddy who will hold them and rock them? We can’t do what we do without generous support from people like you! Please consider giving a generous one time gift or become a monthly supporter of Abogar today. Click here to see how you can be a part of a generation of great daddies and mommies!!