Now John [the Baptist] was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. Mark 1:6
In the 1950s, American churches were full of prosperous, buttoned-down, middle-class families. And then came the sixties and the countercultural revolution. Many of the children of those fifties Christian parents joined the “Jesus People Movement,” showing up at church with long hair and beards, wearing sandals and beads. Lots of fathers found it hard to accept their children’s choices.
A father in the first century wrestled with his son’s countercultural approach to life—and made some serious adjustments. Zacharias was a priest in Jerusalem when the angel Gabriel appeared and announced that Zacharias and his wife would have a son. That was fine, but their son turned out to be John the Baptist—a man who lived in the wilderness, wore a garment made of camel’s hair, a leather belt, and subsisted on locusts and wild honey. And his message to Israel was no less unique: Repent, for the Messiah is coming!
When God’s call on a child’s life is unexpected or out of the ordinary, a faithful father will do whatever he can to encourage that calling.
The more a child becomes aware of a father’s willingness to listen, the more a father will begin to hear. Gordon MacDonald
Mark, the Restored Deserter (Mark 1:1)