[fatherless generation] chapter 13: sustainable communities

Written by Brent Kelly

I was fatherless most of my childhood. I was twelve when I was told who my father was. Since that time, I have had a relationship with my father,step mother, and brothers. In 1998 I met Michelle, now my wife of four years. We have since had two children, Brenae Skyler 11 and Chance Mykael 9. In 2002 rededicated my life to Christ at our local church, Emmanuel Church. Both children are involved in church and school programs. I am an assistant Awana Commander (Sunday evening children's program director) and a small group leader.

April 18, 2011

hugs by julie mcleod
[serialposts]Do you have somewhere to cry?

Do you have somewhere to laugh?

Do you have somewhere to play?

Do you have somewhere you are loved?

Do you have somewhere you are welcome?

Do you have somewhere you can learn?

Do you have somewhere you can teach?

Do you have somewhere you (fill in the blank)?

This chapter stirred up some memories of my past.

When I was a young boy my mother packed the cooler, extra clothes and our toys and put us in the car. She drove for what seemed forever. It was truly only 30 minutes.

This somewhere had water, trees, birds, fire ring, pavilion, etc… There were also a lot of people standing around moving their lips, hugging and kissing, laughing and crying, eating, and listening to music that I had never heard before. I wasn’t too interested in all that. All I wanted was to find other kids to play with and do what kids do.

A few years later I joined the Army. There was more water, trees, etc… And more people. It was different though. There was no hugging and kissing, laughing at this somewhere. There was a lot of screaming though. People screaming at people and I was on the receiving end of it too.

After the Army, there were more people in this large building with a lot of boxes, machines, and a bell. This bell rang four times a day. Each time it rang these people dropped what they were doing and gathered outside or in this one room. Their lips moved, but no hugging and kissing, still.

Then one day long after all that, there was this somewhere on a hill not far from where I was living. Saw it on the TV. There were people, lips moving, laughing and crying and this music I heard a long time ago. There it was what I have been looking for. The “somewhere” that answered all those feelings I had. And still have.

My church – the “Somewhere”.

I was able to become the man I am today at this somewhere, a husband and father that loves Jesus. I was able to grow as a small group leader, a children ministry volunteer, and a mentor/mentee all at the same time.

John and his friends have “Man Christmas.” John wrote, Man Christmas has taught me that truth is beautifully communicated in the context of authentic community.

He went on to say, Each of us naturally gravitates in the direction of community. God made us for community. And God loves us through community. He uses our community with one another to reveal his love to a lonely world. God loves us by accepting us into his family. He speaks directly to the shame of the fatherless and says, You belong to me. God doesn’t save us into isolation; he saves us into community. Sin separates us from God and from one another. Jesus restores us, unites us, and places us in community.

Community comes in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. You just have to humble yourself and find a match that best fits you. We all need this to sustain life. That is how God planned it.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
~Proverbs 27:17



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[fatherless generation] chapter 13: sustainable communities

by Brent Kelly time to read: 3 min