Sally wrote back and I was right. She and her husband do have a long pattern of building platforms under people and finding huge joy in it. They don’t throw money at people. Charity and unpacking gifts are two separate skill sets. They know how to give in a way that does not demean the recipients, and to give in a fathering key of music that gives the recipient the ability to unpack their own treasures.
A mother gives her resources to improve the child’s external environment. A father shapes the external environment in such a way that the son can unpack his own resources if he wishes.
So let’s recap.
We have a piece of land that has been defiled through the willful, savage abuse of children.
Fred and Sally have foundational assigned authority because God brought them to this land specifically and made it possible for them to buy it and redeem it.
They have a formidable generational heritage from forefathers who have nurtured children.
Fred and Sally individually have their own earned authority in jointly nurturing many children and adults.
On top of it all, their nurture was a fathering kind of nurture which is hugely significant against the backdrop of the abuse of children.
Remember: dignity is given based on essence and essence only promises potential. You give honor for a job already done. Investing in someone’s essence is a gamble. It is an expression of your belief that their future is more important than your present.
Let me say that again.
When we invest in someone’s essence, with no guarantee that there will be ROI, we are making a loud statement that unleashing their future is more important than retaining the resources we have in our present.
An Exhorter sent me this poem this week. It captures it well.
The Bridge Builder
By Will Allen Dromgoole
An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way.
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide.
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim.
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”
Source: Father: An Anthology of Verse (EP Dutton & Company, 1931)
The old man had his own life to live. It had value to him, even though it was nearly done.
The young man also had a life to live and it was not nearly so well unpacked as the old man’s was — and might never be.
The fellow pilgrim had a spirit of slavery. He looked at the bridge which cost the old man some of his present resources and said, “This does not make sense. You won’t get a return on investment for your expense of the present.”
And the old man replied that the potential future represented by the young man’s essence was more important than the present of the old man.
That is a fathering attitude and that is the gift of dignity — investing in the essence of the young man with no guarantees that he would be worth it — but doing it anyway.
And this is what Sally’s mother and great uncle did in intercession. They had no guarantee that the family members and other friends who they interceded for would make great choices. But they joyously and tenaciously sacrificed their present because they believed that the unseen essence of the next generation was more important than their present.
They wanted to give those kids a potentially great future.
Now, hold that frame up against the issue of child sacrifice or child abuse.
If that pit of snakes came from religious sacrifice of children in past centuries, then it was done by adults who said loudly that their present situation was worth more than the children’s future.
The same thing is true of sexual abuse. A man feels his very transient present pleasure should be enhanced at the price of a child’s entire future life being deeply scarred.
Do you see that either way, someone with high authority in mothering would be less successful in cleaning up this mess than someone who has walked tall in fathering like Fred and Sally?
A father believes in the essence of the child enough that he will sacrifice his present in order to give the child a chance to unpack his treasures.
God the Father did that. He believed in our essence so much, as people made in His image, able to love Him, that He sacrificed His present — His only Son — in order to give us a future, knowing that a lot of us would not value ourselves enough to take advantage of the gift and unpack ourselves — working out our salvation.
The Father did not do it because He crunched the numbers and figured enough people would get saved to make it worthwhile. He did it because He believes in the essence He has placed in every spirit, and He HAD to make a way for us to get out of the pit and have a chance at unpacking that treasure.
Summarizing: The iniquity is one generation valuing their present so highly and devaluing the essence of the next generation so badly that they rob the next generation of having a future, so they can have a present.
The opposite authority is a fathering spirit that radically invests in giving the next generation a chance to unpack their future, at the expense of the father’s present.
And Fred and Sally are superbly positioned.
The King is on the move and this will be a smashing good victory!
But wait — there is more.
Actually, you are going to have to wait. This is too long already. Part 4 will arrive in due time.
Copyright December 2013 by Arthur Burk
Moved to awe again by the grandeur of the plan