|Enjoying a Giants game thanks to GVYU|
Have you ever been on a blind date before? Personally I haven’t, and I’m glad for that. The closest I ever got was asking a girl out and having a super awkward coffee date in Grade 11. She barely spoke, I was nervous and asked tons of questions, but mostly we sat in silence. Sometimes friends can think two people will hit it off and it can just miss the mark entirely. Sometimes they can hit it off and that’s great- it’s just up to the relationship between those two people.
Why am I talking about blind dates? As a youth worker I get set up on ‘blind dates’ quite regularly. “Oh you should meet this person! You should connect with this guy- I’ll bring him over. Take him out for coffee!”
It happens to me all the time and sometimes it totally works. I get connected with a new young person through a friend, counsellor, or youth leader and it is awesome! Sometimes we get connected, and it just doesn’t work. At all. We sit down or do something fun once and than I never see or hear from them again.
All this to say recently I’ve been set up on a number of ‘blind dates’ by a counsellor to provide additional support for a handful of grade 9 boys. These guys all have one thing in common- lack of a male father figure. In some cases, they are absent altogether. In other cases they are just absent emotionally or lacking that guiding role.
I’ve been so excited to get connected with these guys because my heart breaks for young men like this. Long before I became a father, I recognized the huge importance of a healthy father in someone’s life. Firstly, I was inspired by my Dad and by the importance of his role in my life. He is someone who is loving, gentle, caring and leading. Imagine not having someone in that role in your life? Watching him also helped how I would eventually see and receive God the Father. Further, I could see the impact it had on my friends as we were growing as well as seeing the long term impact on them.
So now I get to start and do my best with these guys. It’s a long road, but if this is a way I can start to intersect into these guys lives in a positive male role, I’m in!
With Joel, I had a conversation at Subway with him about how violence isn’t really an answer. I could tell that this was the first male voice that had ever told him that violence isn’t the way forward when stuck.
With Han, no one had ever spoken up for him to the Principals or been in his corner as an adult before.
With Derian, I helped him use his hands to build a book shelf for the first time.
With Cory, I’m getting to be his defender as we walk in the hallways.
Thanks for being there with me friends as I join these young men where they are at. Grateful for you all in this journey.
- Jon Pue