If you could have lunch with any person living or dead, who would it be?
Nelson Mandela? Barack Obama? Maybe even Jesus of Nazareth?
When that question was posed to a group of boys enrolled in a local gang-prevention program, the most common answer given was, “my father.”
I learned that factoid last week while visiting with staffers who run the Gang Alternative Principals (GAP) program in West Charlotte. (Full disclosure: My wife is director of the nonprofit that created GAP.)
I have to admit, I was somewhat surprised by that survey result.
Of all the celebrities, athletes and notable names in history, many of the boys actually chose their absent fathers as the persons with whom they would most like to share a simple meal…and presumably converse.
The weight of that fact and all it implies is monumental.
The GAP counselors said one of the things they’ve had to teach the boys was how to tie a necktie… a lesson I got from my father when I was maybe 10 or 12.
My time at GAP helped crystallize, as few thing have, just how much damage we do to our sons when we walk out on them.
God, forgive us for the pain we have caused.
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