(I wrote this a year ago and was drawn to this today. Give it a read. I miss seeing him regularly…)
This is a letter I’m writing for my unborn nephew. If you remember the stories I’ve told you about my brother, this is helping me attempt to find reconciliation with him. I need to for the sake of my nephew. I’ve still got things to think through and pray through. This is a start. This draft still has work to refine, but it’s a great starting place…
To My Nephew Whose Name I Do Not Yet Know,
I know we haven’t met yet. This is okay. You are family. You are blood. You are a Welch.
In time, I pray you will be able to understand what this means. You are the start of a third generation of Welch’s following Jesus. Somehow, I have become our families storyteller. One day, I pray you will understand how great your grandpa is and how he has faithfully followed Jesus. Thus, singlehandedly, changing the path our family of men was heading down. It is my hope, my prayer, that through me, your grandpa and father you will never experience what your grandfather did.
Your father and I don’t always see eye to eye. I am sure you have already seen or heard this. It’s okay. I love him. He is my brother. In fact, you are the reason I sought out reconcilliation with him. Because, my nephew, before I knew you I loved you.
Just like God.
I am so excited to be a part of your story. I am praying you will encounter Jesus early and often. As you’ve seen by now, Jesus likes to interupt us Welch’s with things we couldn’t imagine. As you’ve seen by now, I hope, God is constantly begging me to go deeper and take others with me. My nephew, I just know how important following Jesus is.
I want you to be a man like David. I long for you to have a Jonathan. I want you to learn from Solomon – don’t make his mistakes. I want you to be a man who knows and loves the Word of God before anything else. Look at your Grandpa. He is the best man I’ve ever met…
I pray for you constantly as you go through life. I long for you early on to understand how Church is so much more then a building or a service. But yes, please go to church. I long for you to understand there are those in the world who have never heard the Gospel and need you to speak it, share it and love them. This is Church. Be it. Do it. Live it. Love it. Follow.
You may think your uncle is a nut. I’m okay with that. Your ultimate goal in life is to this end stated above. Not money. Not power. Not sex. Be about the Gospel.
I beg you to be in community. Find brothers from other mothers who will always have your back and point you to the cross. Those are your true friends. Have men around you who show you how to treat women. They are your sisters before anything else. Treat them like this. Look and listen to what culture says, but don’t emulate it. Culture is a great deceiver. Know that.
We are a counterculture. We are in the world, not of it, to point people to Jesus. My nephew, this is my prayer for you.
At this point in time, I don’t know your name. I am still trying to decide when I shall have you read this. Your baby shower is next weekend (8/27/2011). I won’t be there because I have to work.
Know how excited for your life I am. I look forward to being your uncle and getting to know you. At this point in time, I don’t know what this means. I don’t know who you are – in time I will.
I am your uncle.
I will be your friend. I am family. I will be there to listen. I will be there for you to vent. I will be there when you need me, because I am your uncle.