Yesterday, I was honored and trusted by a U.S. Army Ranger, as he ventured beneath the surface of his story and found pain going back to his relationship with his father. I told him I was honored because tears in a man always indicate, “This subject is profoundly important to me,” whether they know it or not. I like it when men discover that.
Today, I met with a young man I’m mentoring and we happened to touch on the subject of pain and passion. I’m firmly convinced that there is often a direct link between pain we have experienced in life, and passion we feel called to. When God heals past wounds, he does not erase the scar. He leaves a tender reminder that we were hurt in that place at one time.
Then he goes beyond healing, when he redeems those scars and that pain and turns them to passion. When embraced, admitted and healed, our past wounds lead to passion we feel toward others who experience the same pain.
I wanted to give my young friend an example. “You know how deeply I believe men matter. I write a blog by that title; I have a Facebook page called Men Matter. It’s one of the deepest convictions of my life.”
“Well, the truth about me, John, is…” I paused. “The truth is…” I choked. Tears came to my eyes as I tried to regain my composure. It took a while. When I did, I finished the sentence, “The truth about me is, there are times I’m more deeply convinced that other men matter, than I’m convinced that I do. It’s what compels me.”
My pain: I’m not sure I matter. My passion: I will do all I can to convince other men that they matter, because I know what it feels like to doubt it. God redeems our pain.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Cor. 1:3, 4
My greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you’re supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, Bella, Brynn, Brooke and Blake; my son Alec, my son Conor and daughter-in-law Bonnie, their daughter Gemma and son Calvin. Every one of them is a genuine gift. Beyond that, I have a calling that I live out through Peregrine Ministries. It is to help men: Understand their identity in Christ, Embrace their role as men, and Live out their God-given calling in life. Bottom line is I’m convinced men matter and I want to help them live life on purpose.