For Father’s Day this year, we decided to ask two of our leadership team members their thoughts on being a father in light of their work with Forgotten Voices; one father new to the guild, the other with a few stories to tell. Here’s the first:
I have been a father for over 34 years but it seems like just yesterday I wasn’t. My father just turned 90 and has been a father to me for 62 years. My son-in-law has been a father for just 2½ years. What do we all have in common? Not just being fathers but being a link in a long chain of fathers who have passed their advice and wisdom down from generation to generation. Our advice has not always been taken or even been right but we have trusted God for the next step.
No matter how old and experienced my children become there are times when they need a calm word from their father. One the funnier examples was one day when my daughter called me at work about noon. She was getting ready to go to work herself and when she got to her car she saw that she had a flat tire. She had never changed a tire and of course was a little upset so she called me to help her. This would have been fine with me except I was in England and she was in North Carolina, five time zones and 3500 miles away. This hasn’t happen as often lately because after all fathers is it not our role to work our way out of job. Well maybe but I hope and pray I never do. There is just something about those calls no matter how inane they may be that says you, Dad, will always be my earthly first line of defense.
We have another and much more effective first line of defense though in our heavenly Father who is always there for us no matter what time zone we inhabit. Even the children orphaned by HIV-AIDS in Zimbabwe and Zambia have this creator Father with them at all times. Forgotten Voices can provide physically for those children but only our heavenly Father can truly provide for them spiritually through the local churches. This is why it is most important alongside the physical provision that these children know that their heavenly Father is looking over them when their human father cannot. Because no matter how long or short our chain of fathers is what anchors that chain is the Holy Spirit.
Happy Father’s day to the generation of fathers in your chain. Where would we be without them?
Here are two links in the Niemitz Family chain.
Jeff Niemitz, Forgotten Voices Director of Church Relations and grandson, Will