I have two godparents.
My godmother Karen, whom was chosen for me by my mother.
Then I have my godfather, John. Whom I met while I was at Job Corps. Whom I no longer call ‘Godfather’–I just call him “Dad.” I can talk to him, he can talk to me, and I can trust him. I lost my natural father at 17. On the precipice of 40, I have not heard the voice of my father in 22 years. What I value about John is that he treats me as if I were his own daughter.
And that is miraculous.
In this position, in this space, John–whom had children of his own–took me in, and helped me where I was struggling. He filled in.
This cannot be overstated. This cannot be ignored! Let me say it again.
John, this man whom already had responsibilities and children, decided to invest that time and love into me. Me, whom was not his child. But he saw what I needed, and invested that into me. As a woman of faith, this reminds of the scripture that says, “When my mother and father forsake me, the Lord shall take me up.”
John Moseley, through the gift and mercy of God, decided to make me a daughter. For this, it is humbling.
He is a Fill-In. Don’t overlook this! There are men that are doing the hard work of impartation, of loving, of mentoring of those whom are in need of it! I celebrate what John has done, and is doing in my life. I celebrate the fact that he has seen me at my worst, my best and reminds me of the goodness inside of me.
For the men whom do this, I celebrate you.
I celebrate the men that the boys in the hood to get their hair cut because it needs to be done. I celebrate the men whom have taught a young man how to fix cars because he kept watching him fix the brakes on his front. I celebrate the men that watch over the single moms at the bus stops or offer them rides when it snows! I celebrate the stepfathers that do “Daddy stuff” even when the new marriage that gave you these bonus kids ends. I celebrate the men that mentor beyond the coaching of sports! I celebrate the men that pastor outside of churches and pulpits.
I celebrate you all for stepping in–even when no body saw you.
I see you.
And on behalf of the world that wants to minimize your dopeness, whom think what you do is interchangeable with an app, or television show, I want to tell you this:
Continue to love and to seek out and to bless those whom come in contact with. Keep teaching the young men how to change tires, and open doors. Keep reminding the young men in your life that manhood is beyond phallus antics! Do the work that you see in your community, planting seeds in the young men that look like you!
Men that pay attention to their community can change the culture of that community. These communities enjoy harmony and unity because of the investment in the pillars of that community: the men that live there. There is a grace for they men that invest in the communities that nurtured them or that they wished nurtured them!
You are courageous.
You are strong.
You are needed.
You are necessary.
You are appreciated.
Breath deep, wipe the sweat from your brow and keep going.