I love watching Annie. I own the movie ( I got it on sale for $5.00!). One of my favorite scenes is when all the little orphans are cleaning because Ms. Hannigan has a headache and screams at them to get at it. They all start singing “It’s A Hard Knocked Life” and dancing about… they are a great example at finding joy in the toughest of circumstances. And I cannot believe the talent in the room! These children are doing back flips off beds and somehow spiraling around broomsticks and kart-wheels down twelve straight beds. They are phenomenally talented little orphans. But somehow while I watch this movie, I’m very unaware that these sweet, fiesty little girls are living without a mother and father. It all seems like a very fun musical to them. Oh wait, it is.

I grew up without a dad. I know, its sad. Well… okay I didn’t know it was sad. Here is the part that is saddest to say; I never even had an example of what a good father looked like growing up among friends or extended family. So it was even more difficult to miss something I’d never even witnessed. People who grew up with a decent father (not drunk, rubbed the kids head every once in a while or asked how they were doing while giving a half-hug) would pout their lip at me when they heard my fate. I’d respond to the lip with a head tilted like a dog’s when you ask it if they want to go for a walk. Neither of us know what the heck you’re talking about, but at least we’re cute.

Apparently over 40% of us are going through this in North America. Over 40%. If you didn’t hear me, I’ll say it one last time; over 40% of north americans are growing up without a father. If that doesn’t hit you, or make you sad, I’d understand. We all become desensitized to these things. I became desensitized to this thing. This epidemic not one person had decided a cure on. This epidemic that creates inadequate and forever failing adult-children of our world. Forty percent. Though we as christians know the answer is Christ, we all decide against it, even in our indecision. Our indecision enable or create boundaries of what is and is not acceptable. And now, we accept fatherless children as a norm, and well-fathered children a miracle.

And it makes me angry. It makes me incredibly angry because we were not designed for this. Men were not designed for such dis-honoring lifestyles, and women were not designed for a lack of male leadership in their life. I’m angry that I didn’t have a fighting chance to tell my father I’d be worth his time, his encouragement or approval. I’m angry that his decision to ditch creates a longing in me to find approval outside of the only one whom matters; God. I’m angry my mother fought day and night for our survival; whether it be living in a van, sharing two cans of tuna for dinner, or working 5.30 am until 12.30 am to ensure we all got fed. Never mind a roof over my head… even the metal roof of our motor home.

I’m angry because I see all these men out there with incredible potential to serve the master of the universe with an incredible task of fatherhood, to only see them waste away serving them selves. I’m angry because even though Koala’s and Panda’s are cute, we raise more money and awareness to help their extinguishing breed than we do the men of our society. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not man hating. Quite the opposite actually. The enemy has so gripped men I am angry with you, not at you. I am firm in my beliefs that this is an everyone issue, not just someone men are to figure out alone.

I’m angry. And it’s okay because all emotions are from God. And though we cannot control the emotion itself, we can control the outcome or action of that emotion. And it’s okay because God doesn’t miss a single thing. He announces himself as a heavenly father. A perfect father. A just father. A father who provides good gifts of healing, restoration and peace. Not to replace the role of an earthy father, but to become the greatest father of all time. And if I can get to know Him, I can get to know myself as He really intended. And if I take the time to get to know myself as he really intended, perhaps I could bring that to the world. Perhaps I could remind the fatherless, that they are not fatherless at all. Perhaps then, my anger will be put to good use. And perhaps you would do something too? Because if there is forty percent of us, than I’m assuming some of you reading didn’t grow up with a good father either.

It’s okay to be angry, I think God’s angry too. I think he misses his sons and desires good things for them. Good things like lasting fatherhood and leading the orphaned. I think He just wants for us to do something about it. So, here I go.