Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Visitor: Accidental Fatherhood

For some reason the children at my church have started calling me Ice Cream Man. I don't know how the collective imagination of the average five year old has come to see me as The Ice Cream Man, nor does it really matter. All I know is whether I like it or not I will be seen as The Ice Cream Man until I am very old and grey. Today was no different than any other day and being fathers day one wished me a happy fathers day. I corrected the young lad that I wasn't a father, but thanks anyway. A nearby mother told me that to them I was their church father. She is probably right. Even though I tell them all the time I want nothing to do with them they probably see me as some sort of church parent. How accidental a thing to happen. I am just another guy at the church. They could have just as likely attached themselves to any of the other men in my church. Or is it so accidental? As a Christian I am not one who believes in just circumstance or chance. God ordains things to happen. He also calls us to be parents to the orphan. And it is amazing how it can happen. This brings to mind a new film out called The Visitor. This wonderful little film is chock full of accidents to lead a man to become the father to a young fatherless man. Let me take you through the accidents that lead to this relationship.

Accident: A widowed professor named Vale has to go to a conference in New York City in the place of someone else.
Result: He discovers living in his apartment a young couple named Tarek and Zainab who were cheated into renting the apartment. This leaves them temporarily homeless. Vale in the goodness of his heart lets them stay until they can get back on their feet again.

Accident: Vale discovers Tarek's drum in the living room and starts messing around with it.
Result: Tarek starts giving him lessons drawing them closer into a friendship.

Accident: Tarek gets arrested in the subway and detained as an illegal immigrant.
Result: Vale chooses to become a father to the fatherless. Fighting for his freedom. Giving him comfort in a time of hardship.

In many respects he becomes the ideal of what many of us think a father should be. He is caring, takes them in when they are need, gives them advise and encouragement, and gets real pissed off when someone messes with his kid. I am sure we could easily see all these things as accidental. Or we can see them as God ordained and an opportunity to reach out to those in need of fatherly love.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:30 PM


Blogger dorsey said...

If you're in your rightful place in the church family, then it should come as no surprise at all that someone sees you in that role.

Happy Father's Day, Dave.

(We're due for another trip to Philly)

7:03 PM  
Blogger jasdye said...

Even though I tell them all the time I want nothing to do with them they probably see me as some sort of church parent.

and hilarious.

8:01 PM  
Blogger jasdye said...

sounds like a good movie. think we might view that one.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Cheap Cookin Mama said...

I'm glad my kids have the ice cream man in their life:) They won't tell me why it's your name though. Not sure they know. I also heard you got a wave from a very shy toddler who never takes to anyone, so you should b flattered.

The more I see my kids interact and grow relationships with others in our church family the more grateful I am to be a part of it.

10:09 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Ditto man. We are long over due. This time perhaps Monks?

It's all in good fun.

I asked one of the kids once too. he said because I was the ice cream man. Hmmm

11:50 AM  

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