Thursday, October 06, 2005
What I hope: part 1
Theodore Roosevelt taught a Sunday school class at one time in his younger days. When a boy showed up late, with a shiner, and admitted he'd been fighting (on a Sunday no less!), TR asked what had gone on. The young man looked boldly into the eyes of his teacher and bravely told how he had tried to protect his sister from a bigger boy who was pinching her. It had turned to fist-a-cuffs. TR gave him and dollar and told him he had done "just right". He didn't leave it there though. For a full two months following that black-eyed Sunday, TR trained the young man in the 'discipline of protection'. (He taught the kid to box!)
My hope is that my son becomes this picture of masculinity (both of them: the protector and the encourager/trainer). The vestrymen at TR's church thought he was wrong in what he did and asked him to 'step down'. How sad. The men out there who set an example of friendship, courage, faithfulness, and integrity are few. Those who are willing to encourage a young, chivalrous heart onward instead of tying their hands is a form of faith. Faith looks past the surface of the shiny, blackened eye to the hands that were quick to defend and the love that wanted to protect. Like the sculptor that looks at the enormous slab of solid marble with flaws but sees with eyes of faith the 'David' inside.
My hope is that James and I can be the TR or Michelangelo in Tofer's life.