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Mentoring: Brothersons pt 1

-all names are pseudonyms-

There's a basic need all people have: connection.

Whether it's a need to connect with family, friends, nature, or some form of spiritual satisfaction (or even the internet), everyone craves for their need of connection to be met.

Growing up, as a boy I deeply desired to be known and understood by someone. I desperately desired that the void I had in my very being would be filled. Now, as someone who's gone through loads of "life" at a young-ish age, I see that the hole, the spiritual satisfaction, and the desire for connection is, of course, met by Yahweh (the actual name of God).

There's a level of empowerment that comes with the development of my connection with Yahweh. While it's true that, as the saying goes, we are made in the image of an Unseen God (ooo... spooky!), we are still flesh and bones. The verse "in our weakness, He is made strong." is one that I cling to in almost all areas of life. In fathering my own bio-kids, in being a husband, in my physical or mental health, it's very easy to see my own weakness. The question I've always asked myself is "What does 'Him being made strong' look like?" The first time I heard that verse as a teenager I was baffled. After years of praying about it, I finally see the application of that verse in an area of my life: mentoring.

My desire as a kiddo/teen to be taken on by some loving, caring person who sees all my gifts, talents, and abilities is met by God. Absolutely and without a doubt, He's the Person I've learned the most from. AND, I have still have this desire that I crave to be met by someone flesh and blood. To have that epic crossover of a best friend/big brother/father figure/mentor/personal philanthropist/essential mind reader who knows what's going on with me before I know myself all wrapped up in one, just for me🙂

That need may never be met. But that doesn't stop Yahweh from working through me to be that person for someone else.

Over 3 years ago, along came Arthur. It was a time when my wife and I just moved to a new town, joined a new church, and tried to make a new community. Arthur wasn't someone who was on my radar at all in terms of connection. He likes sports, rap, cars, and a whole list of things that do not interest me in the slightest. On top of being almost 7 years younger than me, I wasn't necessarily thinking about how to connect with him. However, Arthur kept on popping up on my radar. I tried to push it away often because I was looking for a similar-aged, similar-minded, similar-situationed person, but Arthur kept on showing up. We had some conversations here and there, until one late night we have a pretty in-depth conversation at Tim Hortons. It definitely made me realize why he kept on pinging on my radar.

During a worship night at our church, I had my hands raised, eyes closed, and I was singing along with every word. However while I was supposed to be worshipping, I was thinking about laundry, doing dishes, and how I wanted a cheeseburger - y'know, just holy things. Suddenly, my thoughts were arrested by a resounding "YOU NEED TO MENTOR ARTHUR." I was quite shocked because that was clearly a God thought. I was double shocked that when I opened my eyes, Arthur was standing right in front of me, said hello, and gave me a hug.

Later that night, once worship was over I was incredibly anxious. Thinking of my own lack, thinking of my own wants and needs, and once again thinking about myself, I asked for some peace to cool myself down. When that peace came, I saw Arthur talking with loads of people. I thought to myself it would be awkward to interrupt and ask this, so I waited. I waited, and I waited, and I waited around half an hour until another God thought (TM) came into my mind saying, "If you don't see an opportunity, make the opportunity."

I walked right up to Arthur, called him aside and told him what was going on in my world. I then asked Arty if I could mentor him. His response, as best as I can remember was this, "There's a hole in my heart right now that I think needs to be filled by you mentoring me."

From then on, he's been my longest-standing mentee.

Late-night phone calls. Regular daytime phone calls. Late-night coffees at Timmies. Regular daytime coffees. Dinners. Easy and lighthearted conversations to deep and emotionally intense conversations. Between us, things were going well. We had Arthur over so often, he got the title of "Unkoo Arh-tee" with our kids. It was a form of healing I never thought I would receive by giving.

One day, during our regular late-night phone calls with me standing on my deck, pacing back and forth in the middle of our British Columbia winters, wrapped in a blanket and wearing my slippers, Arthur mentions his friend. "Barlow is going through a rough patch... I'm not sure what to do, can we pray for him?"



Shalom Friendos!

You're reading the 1st part of a 5 part series called Mentoring: Brothersons

It has been a wild ride for me these last 3ish years. I have learned much, and it all starts with Arthur. He is the older brother of our group, he is the gentle giant, he is the skin-of-stone-and-heart-of-gold kind of fellow. Knowing him the longest, I've seen him go from teen-hood to man-hood. I am proud to say I know him, and I am proud to be beside him in his journey in life. In an imaginary scenario of a medieval kingdom, where I'm a Prophetic Wizard (HAHA), Arthur would be the Paladin Knight. His personality is so strong and loving that it's almost impossible to not admire him or get along with him.

If there's anything you take away from this blog, I hope it is this: Pay attention to things or people on your "radar." It might bring you healing, it might bring you freedom, and it might be one of the best things to happen to you. Oftentimes, the things we begrudge the most become the healthiest (this applies to nearly all aspects of life, excluding black licorice).

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