Over the next few days and weeks I will be discussing Isaiah 58: 6-12, not necessarily verse by verse but as a whole; focusing on how it pertains to this community and in particular the platform I am focusing on for this Mayor’s race.
“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen … and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Is 58: 7
I have been so blessed with a heritage of a healthy foundation of family and faith with grandparents, uncles, aunts and parents living this out through the example of sacrifice, fulfillment and dedication.
This week I am having the bittersweet opportunity to fellowship with one of my dearest aunts – my precious mother’s sister who is 5 years her elder. She has now been diagnosed with a similar cancer as my mother, which overtook my mother in less than 3 months – 4 years ago June.
When I have asked the question why this happens to good people – I have received a haunting answer – the people of this world do not value the life they have been given.
We go through the motions of our day – today’s existence – and do not live out the purposes we were designed for. My Aunt Mary has been a critical piece of fulfillment to her family and friends. Her faithfulness to God and her strong will remain the foundations of her life. She has raised 3 boys and has 3 fabulous daughters-in-law who are raising talented and focused children. They are going to make a difference in their world embracing their purpose with gusto.
Families are a key foundation of our community. Our individual future often depends on the strength of our family. Our City’s future depends on the sum total of all families. With that in mind, what do we say about the fact that nearly 60% of all homes in Tulsa are now without a mother or a father or both? Because of the growing challenges to the core of our community, many parents have abandoned their own flesh and blood for greener grass, addiction, greed or prison. We find something we think is better than our very own families and our families fall apart. This same attitude carries over into our jobs, neighborhoods, and the rest of our community.
If Tulsa is still a city of faith and family – which I believe it still is – we need to very deliberately pursue strengthening this part of our foundation to the fullest. As Mayor, I will gather together our church leaders and take actions to cultivate and celebrate our two-parent families and also encourage and nurture the children of broken homes. The cost of broken homes is more than financial to the City; it results in deep wounds, loss of esteem and a lack of direction. I desire to see vibrant marriages and families. We will accomplish this by coordinating churches and ministries to provide training and prevention to sustain and maintain these marriages, and by the same token, restore the broken families with workshops and recovery groups such as Celebrate Recovery and many other caring places to heal.
God wants to heal our community, and for the last 14 years, I have worked to provide an environment for this healing. Now it is time to take it to the City level. Keep praying and let’s all take this personally in our own lives!