I have the kind of dad who will say “yes” to adventure, hop on 3 planes, travel to another country, roll up his sleeves, and serve others with his time, talents, sweat and even tears.
We just returned from traveling to the Dominican Republic where we were able to visit with New Hope Girls. Anyone who knows me has heard me gush about my love for this organization, their women and girls. Through their work, they rescue girls and empower women who have endured the darkest and most painful places.
Not all women are raised by a man who believes that she is created for more and is a daughter of the King. Being in the Dominican Republic, and spending time with our sweet friends, brought that painful reality to light. And yet, I was able to watch my dad pour himself into the experience and demonstrate the love he has so freely given me over the duration of my life.
Love is a Verb.
I have a dad who knows that love is meant to be lived. It should feel saturating and deep – not dry and shallow. That’s the kind of man I get to call “dad”. On our trip, my dad had a seemingly insatiable need to work. It appeared that there was no amount of physical labor that was enough for him. He finished building a deck with three other men and then wanted to know if there was anything else he could do that day. On more than one occasion, when things were still for a few moments, I’d catch him scanning the scene in front of him, and I am certain it was because he was looking for something more to do.
One afternoon, as I watched him, I was left scratching my head. Why was he so adamant that he was going to push for more and more projects – why not sit still? Then I realized, of course he can’t sit still, love is a verb. It is meant to be expressed and lived. My dad doesn’t know Spanish but he does know how to express his love through the work of his hands.
His Actions Spoke Loudly
From that moment forward, I realized every time he picked up a tool or helped solve a challenge, he was making a statement about how he feels about each and every girl within the care of New Hope Girls. She is created for more and it was his mission to express that. Especially when a language barrier is involved, actions speak louder than words.
As women, we should join together, raise our voices, and empower each other. And we also need men to join us in that work. We need all people to be aligned in the truth that all women and all girls are created for more. They are not to be bought, sold, exploited or abused. They are to be loved, cherished, encouraged, and supported. Systems, structures and patterns that support the darkness must be fought by warriors who are willing to rage in the battle for her honor, dignity, safety and future. We must all dream the same dreams for HER that we do for our own daughters, wives, sisters, and mothers.
As we continue to process our experience and eagerly anticipate the next time we will be with our friends at New Hope Girls, I am certain of this. Fighting alongside my dad for HER is something I will always cherish.
I have a father who knows that all women and all girls are created for more.