I have been wrestling with the need in my boys' lives for men who influence them. I was praying for mentors who would meet with them once every week or two, study the Bible with them, help them work through anger and adolescence. I was sure this was such a huge committment for someone I could trust,that I didn't know how I would ever find the male influence they needed.
Last night I made a call to a friend. I was frustrated because my oldest son was frustrated and I just couldn't seem to help him. I was trying to talk to a wall. My friend was busy, but her husband asked what was going on. (Guess the desperation in my voice gave it away!) So I explained and got the much needed "you're doing fine." Then he asked to speak to my son. I left my son alone to talk to this man he trusts, respects, and loves. After the conversation, I had a different child. I have resisted the urge to find out what in the world was said. But whatever it was, it worked!
The lesson I learned from this is that mentoring comes in different kinds of packages. Perhaps boys without a father, and girls without a mother, can get some of thier needed fathering or mothering just from a friend who takes a few minutes to check on them by phone. Perhaps sometimes all they need is the voice of a leader, calming their frustrations. Maybe sometimes it really is that simple.