Its a bitter cold and foggy Saturday morning in March here in Brussels, Belgium and my son and I found the best waffles anyone has ever eaten, they came from an old VW Bus that was turned into a Waffle Van, and dang these things good! We are totally going back for seconds later today.
Wait, I guess I should back up a bit. Yes you did come to Bring Love In, the website about the orphan care ministry in Ethiopia, and yes this is Levi, the guy who’s lucky enough to live with his awesome wife and kids in that very same Ethiopia. The reason I am in Belgium today is a long story, but its an important one. Before I start I want you to look at a picture here that I took today, it is of a sculpture made out of Legos by a guy named Nathan Sawaya, and it and several of his other works which I will share with you later are showing at a museum here in Brussels.
This piece is titled “Son”, I stood in front of this and almost cried, all of the emotion of why I am here seemed to be captured in this.. art… this Lego creation. I know, I sound like I am going crazy. Stay with me though. Look at this and let it sink in a bit, then let me tell you more.
For the past several months I have been working out the plans for a getaway with my son, he turned 13 last December and I wanted to make as big of a deal as I possibly could about the “talk” that I wanted to have with him. I have been determined since the day I held his tiny screaming body in my arms and cut the umbilical cord, that I would do everything in my power to give this boy all the tools he needs to become a man of God, a man of substance, a man of integrity.
This sculpture I felt showed the agony of what it would be like to watch your son be eaten by the world. This is what failure as a father looks like. “I couldn’t protect you”
This morning we stepped off the plane from Ethiopia with only our backpacks on our backs, and started a three day journey together, Nickoli is becoming a man and we are spending this time talking about every single aspect of that transition, no topic is off limits, no question too small or too big to tackle, we are here for Nickoli, here to give him the tools that he needs, and the support that it is going to take.
We are here for Nickoli.
I could go on and on here about how much I believe in spending resources on your family in this way. No we are not filthy rich, and we don’t have money to throw around for the heck of it, but when it comes to priorities I believe that the big picture is the only picture that we should be looking at. This is an investment in Nickoli’s future, a deposit into his worth and self value. This trip is a gift to his heart, speaking to him about his value, about his calling, and how much God loves him.
You might have read a few months ago the post where I wrote with such conviction about how we all should be “bad ass” men for God. This is trip is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. We (all of us) need to be ready to drop everything for the people around us, and give into their lives without reservation.
How long will we make excuses about how we are too busy, or have too little time to spend investing in the lives of those around us?
Another of the pieces of Lego art by Nathan Sawaya was this one of a man walking away from a grey wall of bricks, there were hands coming out of the wall and pulling him backwards as he tried to escape. Again I stopped and could not believe the emotion captured in this work. It was the perfect picture of the world, and the way that it seeks to pull us backwards into all the crap that we seek the escape from. I felt like I wanted to wrap my arms around the red guy and pull him out into the free world where God wants us to live. Like I was watching my own son and the battles that he will face in this world, and the struggle to move forward, to be free.
God I hope I can be used in this time, I hope you give me words and open the doors of my son’s heart so that we can build a foundation that will last a lifetime.
I love you Nickoli, and I pray that God uses me to help you become the amazing man He wants you to be.