In this crazy life we live, we frequently get to peek outside our window and see redemption on our doorsteps. Every morning, we are greeted by Daniel, a single father to 6-year-old Missael and 3-year-old Angeline. He lost his wife just over a year ago, and soon after spent 4 months in rehab, but now he is healthy and happy and has given his life to Jesus.
We hope and pray that one day he will find a kind, loving mother for his children, but for now, he is carrying the privilege and burden of parenting mostly on his own. And he does it beautifully, performing his Roots & Wings’ duties with a smile on his face and joy in his heart. Showing up to therapy week after week with commitment and eagerness. Swallowing his frustrations with his 1st grader and listening when we gently explain that we think his behaviors are reactions to much of the instability he has experienced since his mom’s passing. He stands tall with the weight of parenthood, grief, confusion and no answers to what’s next on his shoulders.
Even when we have to discipline Missael for bad behavior or when Angeline is having a particularly rough day, we can’t help but praise God for the miracle he is performing in their lives. To know that they have a father that will not abandon them, give up on them, or stop loving them. It is a rare and beautiful phenomenon in this culture and community.
That privilege might be lost on them now, but some days I find myself wanting to walk across the courtyard to squeeze them tight and tell them, “one day you might think your world is crashing down and when that day comes you will reach for your phone and you’ll have a dad to call. A dad who knows what it is to walk through dark periods of life. A dad who loves you. A dad who fought to keep you. When that day comes, you will be so grateful that you have a dad to call.”