“Dear Lord, I know a lot of us didn’t have good fathers,
and I pray that we can begin to heal today
at the Christ Kitchen men’s luncheon.”
I never dreamed that men would gather to support the ministry and women at Christ Kitchen. But clearly God did as 120 men gathered last Tuesday for the first-ever Christ Kitchen men’s luncheon. Two of our Christ Kitchen women sat at each of the men’s tables during the lunch to explain the ministry and get to know our guests.
Before the keynote address, Melanie, a new, 30 year-old employee, told the crowd about how she came to Christ Kitchen. She briefly, beautifully described an abusive marriage that ended in divorce, homelessness, and single motherhood with a new baby. She radiated as she told how Christ set her on her feet, gave her real support and fellowship at CK, and even supplied a new trailer and increased work hours.
During the keynote talk, Wayne Williams, CEO of Telect Corporation, mentioned how touching it was to hear Melanie’s words and the hearts of the women at the Kitchen. It reminded him of a book by John and Staci Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul, which encourages men to be uplifting to their wives and daughters and to delight in their beauty and strength.
What a divine answer to prayer! Wayne didn’t even know Melissa’s prayer for healing father-wounds, but surely was a part of its answer. One of our workers commented, “It was interesting, weird and wonderful all at the same time to be surrounded by men who love Jesus.” Another said, “I was nervous in myself, but it was so great to hear about the men’s strong foundation in Christ. I’d never heard that before.”
Oh, dear church, we can take nothing for granted, can we? Did you know there are women living hand-to-mouth all over the country who have never even met a man who loves Jesus? How hard it is without tangible role models to imagine the fatherness of God or the sweet joy of a precious, protective, wise, responsible father or husband. If it can’t be imagined, how can it be sought?
Luckily, God is bigger than our meager experiences and imaginations. He is a seeking God, who comes in response to our prayers, to claim us, and offer the desires of our hearts. He is found reaching out to our impoverished souls throughout Scripture, through newly forming friendships, brand new experiences like our luncheon, and the healing words of Melanie and Wayne.