Charles Lee told us at the beginning of the conference that at each of the tables we would find jars of rocks and crayons. He encouraged us draw on the paper that covered the tables, but the rocks were to be used for special moments.
He told us that if we had one of those ah-ha moments, or when there was something that impacted us in a big way, then we should take a rock. He encouraged us to use the crayon to write a word on the rock that would help us remember that moment. That way we could have something tangible to take with us to remember that moment.
As we wrap up the conference, I definitely feel like I’ve been blasted for the last two days with the proverbial fire hose. There was SO much great stuff being said that it was sometimes difficult to catch it all (thank God for the @icorphan Twitter feed). But it wasn’t until the final moments of the conference that I had my ‘rock moment’.
Mike Rusch (@mikerusch) announced to the crowd that the participant’s children who have been in childcare at the church all day had a project that they were working on.
All of the young kids walked up onto the stage as Mike was challenging us to do something with the information that we’ve been given and the conversations that we’ve been having.
Mike was talking about the importance of family when he had the children show everyone the projects that they had put together for us. They were beautiful drawings of their families.
It was awesome to see how each of the children carefully crafted these wonderful images of how they saw their families. Some were surrounded by rainbows, and others were simple stick figures on an otherwise empty page. Regardless, it was a beautiful collective display of what ‘family’ looked like to these kids.
Then Mike dropped the bomb.
After two jam-packed days of talking with the heroes who are making a difference in fatherless ministry, Mike reminded us of one simple statistic…
Tonight there are 143 million children who cannot draw one of these pictures.
That’s why this (often crazy) little event in NW Arkansas was SO dang important. That’s why I used vacation time from work, spent time away from my family, and traveled about 1,200 miles (each way) to be here. Because this is a conversation that we all need to be a part of… right now.
How can the church (the you and me church, not the institution) make sure that every child has the opportunity to draw a picture like this?