Rev. Dr. Jalene Chase
Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
I guess some men seeing the title of this 1972 hit by the Temptations are crying FOUL! They may be asking why I picked this over other songs. The song was popular and held some truths, but I picked it because of its potential. Confused? Let me explain. My first Father’s Day message was titled, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone. Why?” My answer was because he was allowed to be. The instrumental is fantastic! The line about him being a storefront preacher got my attention. But it’s the chorus that stands out for me, “Papa was a Rollin’ Stone. Wherever he laid his hat was his home. And when he died, all he left us was alone.” When I read the lyrics, one of the male teens spoke out and said, “Dag, that’s messed up!” Yes, it is.
In my faith tradition, the Bible has numerous stories about women coming together to meet the needs of the family and community. Those situations presented opportunities for support, sharing resources, and accountability. Men were engaged in activities that took them away from the family.
I was blessed to have my father at home to help lay the foundation of how people viewed the Chase Family. Both of my parents grew up without their parents who died when my parents were young. They knew the importance of a consistent, positive, male presence. Our home was “the” gathering place. The men in their circle of friends were expected to live up to the standard that my parents set. My father was a construction foreman. I was surprised by the report of my middle brother who worked with my father one summer. Apparently, the men cursed and told dirty jokes on the construction site! No! Not my daddy! My memory is of him asking a male friend to leave our home for refusing to stop cursing around his wife and daughters. He set the boundaries for how the women and children should be treated in our extended family, and it included our friends. When he died, the village he created showed up and grieved with us.
I’m biased, but I feel if men followed my father’s example and considered coming together to fill fatherless voids, we would have fewer “Rollin’ Stones.” If you are looking for support and a faith community, join us. Worship at Emmanuel UMC is 9 am or 11:15 am. Summer worship will be July and August at 9:45 only. Check us out on our webpage www.eumcbeltsville.com or Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/EUMCBeltsville/. Until next time, I leave you with this:
Foundations support strong buildings
And they work for families too.
Take the time to gather with like-minded men
Help build a village that meets needs and supports dreams
Engage the men who believe in building strong communities
Remember that it takes a village to raise a child
Happy Father’s, Father-to-Be, and Fatherly Spirit Day!