Thursday, September 26, 2013

A true story of how I almost cried in front of four other men...

One of my younger disciplemaking friends asked me to sit in on a meeting that was designed to celebrate his journey into ministry and, at the same time, give him credentials for the ministry he serves. I love this young man, so it was a no brainer. I'm in.

After reading (and marking up) his theology paper, I went to the meeting where I joined the young man, his supervisor, his pastor, and his father. Because of who God is making this young man, this meeting was a complete joy. After a couple of hours of walking through his paper, the young man was asked to leave the room. Those of us left in the room were to give a thumbs up or down. Again, another no brainer... enthusiastic thumbs up by all.

When he came back into the room, we all took time to look the young man straight into his eyes and exhort, encourage, warn, celebrate, and challenge him.

When it came time for his father to speak, he looked at his son and with tears in his eyes, he quietly, slowly, and tenderly said,

"You are the son I've always hoped God would give me."

The room got very quiet as the father's words hung thick in the air. My heart was deeply touched. My eyes watered. This was no longer some committee yaking it up about the finer points of theology (as critically important as that is, see 1 Timothy 4:16). This was something profoundly more.... as if God had graced the meeting with his fatherly presence... and every man in that room knew it. Dare I say it? Every man felt it.

Wow... what a gift this father gave to his son that day.

And to the rest of us too.

It reminded me of this: Matthew 3:17.

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