Archive for April, 2010

Spiritual Mothers and Fathers

People are hungry for them…intentional ones that is. I think the rise in the use of the word “mentor” is in direct proportion to the hunger and felt need for them. You can use the word mentor, but I think the real need is spiritual mothers and fathers.

There are 3 occasions lately that have my heart stirring:
1. I was sitting across from a young man I adore in a Chili’s in Monterrey, Mexico. I had some of our team of 20 share about their hang out time with Jesus right before dinner. This young man spoke and it was profound, but he was so insecure about his sharing that it made it a little more challenging to grab a hold of the enormous amount of wisdom that could be found in his words. After the sharing was over, I leaned across the table and encourage him in regard to what he shared…as well as challenged him in his delivery for which he was grateful. Because this young man knows I love him, I was pretty straight forward on the challenge. What I didn’t realize was that the guy sitting next to me overheard our conversation, to which he whispered into my ear afterwards, “Judy, I want you to talk to me like that. I need you to love me enough to slap me around a little like that. I can take it.”

2. I had a young man who is gifted beyond measure walk into my office today. Past experience has taught me that he is one who appreciates you going through the front door (i.e. saying things directly versus using vague language in hope that they get it (using the backdoor)). He asked me to intentionally mentor him over the coming months. He said that those he trusts, trust me…therefore, he wants me to shoot straight with him and challenge him to be the best he can be. He said he’s asked people before, but they never follow through. We are both thinking and praying what that might look like. I told him I would, but he has got to be able to take it. By “take it,” I don’t mean harsh words, but for him to realize that some of the things I say he might not like to hear…he would have to be strong enough at times to maybe even “agree to disagree”…but willing to walk away from our talks, leaving the discussion behind and the relationship intact. Our mentoring journey began when he walked out the door, I told him I loved him, to which he responded, “I love you too” very fast…to which I said, “in the future slow down saying ‘I love you.’” From my own personal journey, we say “I love you” fast or just “love you” when we have said those words so few times that it’s still uncomfortable. I am a firm believer that the church has gotten too far away from using the “love” word out of fear of being misunderstood and lawsuits, to the point they’ve allowed Satan to rob them of the most powerful word ever spoken. Of course, I don’t ever want the word to become “cheap” to the point we don’t really mean it when we say it.

3. Speaking of love … I love, love, love many students in Master’s Commission and would take a bullet for any one of them. But there are two in particular that have captured my heart. In recent days, they call me “mom” and I call them “sons”. Both of these young men know that I would turn the world upside down for either of them, but they also know I will be quicker to correct them than anyone else. In fact, we laugh because one of the two prayed for dinner in Mexico and it was so quick of a prayer because we were tired and hungry, I made someone else try again. Had anyone else prayed that prayer, I would not have said a word but because it was one of the two, I did. Some would say it was harsh, but my presentation style was such that we laughed about it in the moment, but he heard me deeply. I love him so much that I don’t want him to have to navigate his spiritual journey alone, to have to forge it on his own … I want to leave fingerprints on his heart.

I am still a far cry from having this spiritual mom/mentor thing figured out … by a long shot, but I am determined to change myself, then change my culture. I am not sure of our future otherwise. Big words? Maybe.