In this Dad to Dad podcast, host David Hirsch talks with Dr. Charles Ware, president emeritus of Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Ware’s son Matt was seriously injured while attending a high school basketball practice. We’ll hear about that plus the book written by Dr. Ware, “One Race, One Blood.” That’s all on this Dad to Dad podcast.
Dad to Dad 43 – Charles Ware, whose son was seriously injured playing basketball
Charles Ware: They called my wife, Sharon. So she arrives in mats on a stretcher and they’re taking them to an ambulance to transport him and Sharon runs over him and she looks down and she’s crying and he’s strapped down on the stretcher and he looks at her. I said, mom, Pull yourself together. Remember God’s in control.
He said that, right? Yeah.
Tom Couch: That’s a portion of a conversation between our host David Hirsch and his guests. Dr. Charles Ware, president emeritus of crossroads Bible college in Indianapolis, Dr. Ware’s son, Matt was seriously injured while attending a high school basketball practice. We’ll hear about that.
Plus the book written by Dr. Ware one race, one blood. That’s all on this dad to dad podcast. And now here’s our host David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: Hi, and thanks for listening to the dad to dad, podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special needs presented by the Special Fathers Network.
Tom Couch: The Special Fathers Network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
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Tom Couch: So let’s listen now to David Hirsch’s conversation with special father Charles Ware.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with my friend, Dr. Charles Ware of Indianapolis, Indiana, a father of six and president emeritus of crossroads Bible college, a multiethnic urban theological seminary brother, where thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the Special Fathers Network.
Charles Ware: Thank you, David, for what you do. And I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.
David Hirsch: You and your wife, Sharon had been married for 46 years, have four grandchildren and of the proud parents of six children, Kristen 44, Tim 42, John 38, Karen 35, Justin 26 and Matt who’s 37, who was catastrophic injured at age 16 during the basketball practice and has been a quadriplegic the past 21 years.
And if I remember. Correctly, both Matt and Justin were adopted as newborns, 37 and 26 years ago. Respectively.
Charles Ware: That is correct. That was the burden of my wife, not mine. In fact, I can remember when Matt came along, we were in the pastorate and didn’t have much money and it’s a long story, but a lady, my wife was babysitting and the lady.
Had a daughter who was pregnant and she said, I just want a chance. My wife would you adopt? So my wife shared with me, always been praying about adopting zone and so forth. And I’m like, I’m not sure. So anyway, I said, well, let me try. I know another family doesn’t have a child. So I said, let me try and see if they want.
So they wanted to tell him that though. Wow, praise God. The lady came back, lady. The same lady, I don’t know, going to another daughter that’s pregnant. Would you take in the, by that time? I I’d prayed and Lord opened my heart. And so, so that’s how Matt ended up family.
David Hirsch: So you’d already had three children at that time?
Yes. Before he came into the picture and then you went on to have. Well, fourth biological child. And then, uh, Justin, uh, came many, many years later.
Charles Ware: Yes, he’s the youngest.
David Hirsch: So let’s start with some background. Uh, where did you grow up? Tell me something about your family.
Charles Ware: Well, I was born in Kissimmee, Florida before Disney world got its place back in a segregated place.
I was born there and, um, my family got involved in, uh, migrant work and I never knew my biological father until he was on his death bed. But. But my parental figures became migrant workers and travel up in New York state and pick crops until December. And then we would go back down to, um, Florida, but, uh, you know, those years are interesting from the standpoint that, that my father figured out younger years, him and mom was never married.
Um, my family was given to drinking and drunkenness on the weekend, and then we began to live up in New York year round. We stayed on a farm and worked there. And ultimately my father figured at my mom been married cause she’s separated with my father figure from my elementary school years. And when I was in high school, she married.
David Hirsch: So this would be their stepdad.
Charles Ware: Then my stepdad in high school and my senior year in high school, uh, I was very popular in high school. That was predominantly 95% white. And SABIC was a senior in 1968. That’s a year Martin Luther King jr. Was assassinated. Robert Kennedy was assassinated, but racially, I had very good relationships.
I served on the student council in his school. I was president of my class as a sophomore vice-president student council. So junior president of student council. So senior family was poor. I was looking forward to going to college and making some money and buy my mom a house. Well, anyway, my senior year.
I went to a senior event one night and when I came home and then just before that, and let me clarify this, the father figure in my life in my elementary school years came up to New York, took me out fishing and asked me, what do you think about manual mom? Getting back together? What I mean, I was 18 on the pumps merit.
I’m saying, well, that’s up to you and my mom. Well, anyway, when I was at the senior event this night, Apparently the father figure came over to my house. He and my stepfather got an argument. Myself, father ran upstairs and the father figure from that elementary life was coming up behind him. He got into his room, pulled out a shot gun, stood at top of the stairs, shot and killed the father figure.
Now that that just tore me up. I mean, my, I mean, I was popular in school. And I like to think of that somebody had been killed in my house. Um, it’s going to be on the news. Uh, student’s going to be asking me questions. I had applied to three state universities accepted three state universities, but I felt like I didn’t want to go to college.
I didn’t want to do anything. My world was shattered at that time.
David Hirsch: So if I understood what you were saying, there was a man that played an important role in your life during your elementary school years. Disappeared or wasn’t involved, your mom marries your stepdad. They end up in this altercation and your stepdad shoots your father figure.
And that’s when your life sort of took this big. Dark turn.
Charles Ware: Yeah, it became a very hopeless situation. In my mind, my emotions, it would just drain the life wasn’t going on. I had these dreams. I’m gonna go to college. I’m about her mama house, but we’re going to have money and we’re going to do this. We’re going to do that.
And then all of a sudden, everything just shattered. It came to a complete halt in the alumni.
David Hirsch: So what was it that helped you overcome that?
Charles Ware: Well, you know, in the Providence of God, A young man that I played sports with in high school was a Christian. And then another gentleman came in to take over the youth group and he challenged the youth group.
Let’s go out and witness it and people of Christ. And so he asked the president of the youth group that I played ball with, who can we witness? And he said, Charlie, where let’s go, let’s go see him. And he says, told me though. He said, he said, when he came over that night and asked to go to your house, He said, I told him, Charlie, won’t get saved.
Forget that. But the youth director said, no, we’re going well. It wasn’t so much about going the Hill at that time. I wasn’t that much fearful about Hill, but I want to life. I want to hold this. I want it. I just needed something to give him the reason that, so I believed on Christ right there in my, in my living room that night.
And they took him out to play basketball. Afterwards, one older fellow with glasses was out there later, found out he was a pastor. I didn’t know. And after we played ball, he said anybody down and said, uh, Charlie’s got something to share with us tonight. And that’s it. I do. Yeah. Tell them what happened to you tonight?
So I gave him a first testimony about faith in Christ and my life dramatically changed. I was the first black person to join the church. First black person get baptized. My mom said, I looked like a flower bowl of milk, just drop the chocolate, but Christ radically changed my life from that time for it.
David Hirsch: So you can timestamp that very precisely,
Charles Ware: precisely, and it really became the foundation to deal with some of these. Devastating things that was transparent in that life at that time.
David Hirsch: That’s very powerful. Thanks for sharing, uh, under the category of, uh, other father figures. Um, I understand that your dad’s dad was not involved in your life, but your mom’s dad, Kelvin Benton was share with us your thoughts about your, um, grandfather Calvin button.
Charles Ware: Memories of him as a hard working guy. And, um, I have a remembrance of him at, at 96. He was working out in the fields of orchards in Florida, coiling grass from around the trees to make a little money. And he lived to be 102, but he was a strong, strong man. And, um, you know, back in those days, People had their principals that they would spank you and do they do what they had to do to get you on the control.
And he wasn’t figured out, but just as longevity of life, this stuff was very impactful upon me.
David Hirsch: Well, I’m hoping that you have some of his longevity genes.
Charles Ware: Yeah. I’m on the grace of God. I’m hoping.
David Hirsch: So, so let’s switch gears a little bit. Uh, you did end up going to college.
Charles Ware: Yes.
David Hirsch: You went to Baptist Bible college now known as some at university of Pennsylvania located outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
And then, um, after that capital Bible seminary. So while you were in school and then graduating. What were you thinking you were going to do with your life?
Charles Ware: You know, it was an interesting thing because when I was a senior, when I got saved, I got saved in March, 1968. I was in Bible college in August of 1968.
And I, I think when I got in with two African Americans there, one girl, she was the thing, a sophomore. She left out the first semester. I was the only African American there, but it was clear to me. Then God led me there and I got a good foundation in the word of God and it 30 to where to go on my life and to correctly, interpret and apply the word of God and built some great friends there, including my wife.
David Hirsch: Well, that’s fabulous. So if I compare for, as what you’ve said, you were one of two African American students. Holiday entire student body. Right. And that was a big leap of faith on your part just to go there, right? Because you had mentioned previously, you were thinking about going to one of these state schools.
Charles Ware: Yup. Three at glide, three with accepted
David Hirsch: three. So that’s amazing. So how did you actually meet Sharon?
Charles Ware: Well, you know, I met a little, she was, uh, she was one class behind me, but where we really began to get to know one another was a group of students we’re down in the inner city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and they were.
Witnessing. And it’s a lot of drugs down there, prostitution and all this stuff. But anyway, they were burdened to start a church. And one of the gentlemen that was going down, he came to me and said, Hey, you know, it’s on this church. We want you to help us out. First. I think he said, we want you to consider them in passing us, but Paul started churches and he was in fact this well to start a church.
So I agreed to go down to visit. And then I guess this other guy knew. Sharon. And she wanted to have a Bible said it was somebody. So we hooked up. She said, Oh, I love to do that. So we kinda got involved in that church plant together. And that’s how we, we, uh, came to know one another. So serving God.
David Hirsch: So from the time that you met, then.
Till the time you got married, what period of time was that?
Charles Ware: Thank we started church in my junior year. We got married a year after I graduated. She didn’t graduate until a year after I did so. Okay. So about three years, I guess we didn’t really date or anything like that. In fact, part of the story is that back in those days, there was a strong feeling that interracial marriage.
I pray for her to be a godly woman. I’d be a godly man and vice versa and wait for her to graduate, which she did. And after that we got married and we had started the church and, uh, the administration actually met with all the students of the church. They were students at the college and members of the church and told them if the two of us got married, they were gonna have to choose between the church and the other college.
They couldn’t. Support the interracial marriage, but the students decided that God ordained the local church. He didn’t ordain a college and they were not going to, they were not going to move. So it ministration said, all right, got membership. They could stay there, but no new students can come. And so, so that was part of our challenge for us at the beginning of our marriage there.
But God was good and, uh, And we’re still together.
David Hirsch: That’s awesome. 46 years later. Yes. So, um, what career path did you take from there? You were part of planning this church and then how did things about,
Charles Ware: yeah, it was kind of interesting cause it’s, you know, first I, I told the Lord when I got saved, God I’d do anything you want.
I’ve travel the world and eat sardines and crackers. That hated siding mother made me hate it. But just don’t ask me to stand up before people speak and exactly. That’s what God called me. And I decided that I would be a pastor. You know, I could go put in three years, like fall and then I’d take off. And my benches and I was there seven years.
It was a progressive movement by God clarifying puking and burdening me to teach me how to love his people. And the funny thing about. Coming to Indianapolis is president of the college. It’s the evangelist friend I was talking about. He said, I could see the hand of God on you. You said you had advantages, you would never be an education.
And I thought, yeah, that’s I can see that. And so I’ve been 26 years as president of a Bible college.
David Hirsch: Well, what I’ve learned over the years, uh, Charles, is that whenever you hear the word,
Charles Ware: never,
David Hirsch: you want to make a note of it and maybe even put the date down because it seems inevitable that that’s what you’re going to end up doing.
Charles Ware: And I have to say it out loud. I love God’s plan for my life.
David Hirsch: You only know that looking backwards now
Charles Ware: that is very true. Right? I never would have wrote written a
David Hirsch: script. So let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about the special needs community I’m wondering or curious before Matt’s accident. Did you or Sharon have any connection to the special needs community?
Charles Ware: I’m appreciative. So I love people. So you got child with disabilities. I may have bumped into a few families and I felt for them. I might try to pray for them, but there was no real engagement, you know? And so it was like a, it was a distant concern, respect, but no intimate understanding and empathy.
David Hirsch: So more tan.
Charles Ware: Yes. Yeah. That would be a good way of putting it. Yes.
David Hirsch: So what was your first reaction upon learning of Matt’s prognosis after the
Charles Ware: accident? Well, I was in, um, Washington state when he was hurt here in Indianapolis. And I got news, not way of phone call from my executive vice president of the college.
And then he gave it a number of the hospital and I called and they explained to me that Matt had broken his neck. Let me speak to Sharon. She was crying, saying that, you know, moving that to a different hospital. Now I gotta go, but it doesn’t look good. So, um, miles and miles away, I can’t do anything. I can’t be of any help.
I feel helpless. Good people around me. I was preaching at a seminary. Professors came together to pray for me, made it to the airport, I think for one o’clock flight out in the morning. And, um, some pastors came and prayed for that. I can remember sitting in the seat on the plane and I was. Crying saying, Lord, I gave you my life do is preach the word, but, but I don’t understand is why this is happened.
I won’t have money to take care of a family. Uh, I love to lead a ministry. You get two or three secular jobs and, and, uh, I’m not doing it. My wife, I don’t know what’s happened with her. I can’t support. I don’t know what I’m gonna run into when I get there. I don’t know what condition Matt’s going to be in.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. So I kind of felt. Broken in one sense, you saying betrayed by God and just hopeless, you know, what will the future be? I don’t know how we’re going to get through this. I don’t know what we’re going to do. We ain’t got, we don’t make enough money. I don’t have money saved, saved up.
And so it was a moment of darkness, hollowness and helplessness.
David Hirsch: Would you refer to it as a crisis of faith?
Charles Ware: You know, in a sense of when did it, for me, it wasn’t as much a crisis of faith. It was a, it was a real concern. Here’s what happened, what I was going through, all these thoughts in my mind, and God reminded me, you gave me your life.
And he also reminded me that he knew Matt before we did. He said you got met when he was three days old, but I knew him before I put him in your family. I’ve taken care of him. For these 16 years. And what you need to do is just continue to Romans 12 one and two, get your life. Dan, don’t be conformed to this world.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. And you know, the tears are still over. The peace came at that point. I didn’t know all the answers, what was going to happen, but it was like, Okay, that’s true. I didn’t know, Matt. God bombed me in.
He has taken him. So to say, read it and drive it to depression or other despair. It drove me to a, a faith to trust, but not seeing the way out. So
David Hirsch: it seems like it was a very, uh, dark. Period of
Charles Ware: time is the extreme period.
David Hirsch: So was there any advice that you got early on that helped you put this all in perspective?
Charles Ware: I don’t know was so much it vice as it was just seeing the hand of God. I mean, when I got back to Indianapolis, I was hit a number of things. Uh, let me give this some context too. Every once in a while I get diesel, but I call it teenage rebellion spirit. In me with God. And so just before Matt got hurt, I would, I was having this thing with God and I was like, God, I’m traveling all over the world.
I’m speaking knowledge, places in the U S I’m speaking internationally. And I don’t know anybody, nobody knows me. And I don’t even know what any fruits been born. It’s just wasting my time. Well, one, a couple of things happened there with this accident. It’s when I got back. I found out that my pastor had been, that encouraged my wife to be with Matt.
There were medical doctors that attended my church, who were Christians. They had been in there and given advice to wives in what was going on. So on and so forth, a group of people have been praying. And then I see the, uh, Indianapolis star, our local newspaper, uh, front page article. Uh, that morning when I got back, somebody about the front page article says young athlete injured, but not his faith and a sports writer.
And had, you know, heard this accident when he had come on the scene when he was there on the scene, trying to write this article that this kid had been injured. They called my wife, Sharon. So she arrives in mats on a stretcher and they’re taking them to an ambulance to transport him. And Sharon runs over him and she looks down and she’s crying and he’s stretched, strapped down on the stretcher.
And he looks at her and said, mom, pull yourself together. Remember God’s in control. And he said that right after that, that became the fact that became a lead story. He began to lead story on the news for about a week and papers picked it up, not a place to, so, yeah. God use that type of a thing that show me, Hey, I’m in this.
I got it. And they’re whole lot of other things where people provided and prayed and, and it was like, I couldn’t fight the reality that God’s hand was there. I prayed that he got to heal him. He’d get up and he’d walk. In fact, they got me on the news real sand that, uh, One of the news things they put out, they got, got me on there saying that I believe that Matt will walk again.
I prayed, I believe we walk in, but that’s a bit, if he doesn’t, God is still been good. Uh, but I did believe that he would, he, he hasn’t walked to this day, but there’s a myriad of things that God did from financial provision to food provision to help to so many things. It just. I had to tell Sharon, you know, God is not answering that prayer from that.
David Hirsch: very powerful. Thank you for sharing. I’m wondering what have been the biggest challenges, um, during the past, uh, 20, 21 years now?
Charles Ware: Well, in all honesty, one of the biggest challenges was the impact. It had punched Sharon, her mother’s heart. A godly woman knows her husband loves her children. She was just devastated with Mets accident and she wanted to care for him with all the extra care and give the same care to all of her other children and to me and so on.
And so, so it was impossible and mentally, it was just taking her down. And when Matt did come home from a rehab. And you had to have the tube and they try to explain to us where the spinal cord, 70 doesn’t have feeling past a certain point. And, and, you know, he could burn and not feel it or, or something could happen.
And his blood pressure spike, he could die. He thought bleeding. So there was nights when he was, we set up a place in our living room, um, because of bedrooms is upstairs. And so that in there for him, and we had to call them, you know, the ambulance middle of the night, because he was bleeding or something’s going wrong, or blood pressure was spike and just that tension and that continually motion.
And while I could get away at times, I would go away, speak out, go out and do something Sharon with there 24 seven. And I think one of the ways God provided by the way in that whole things by a year or two into it, And then a dog got into horseback riding and sharing with her. A couple of times, she always wanted a voice since I was a kid.
So long story short, we wound up with place where a dog was going to take horseback. Riding. This guy had a number of voice and said he wanted to sell something. So we bought two horses.
David Hirsch: Oh my gosh. And
Charles Ware: Sharon, when God told us said, man, you bought horses. I’ve seen this people buy horses. They don’t ride.
You try to feed them. Y’all here. But Sharon for years, I think that was a therapy from God. She would go out what nothing else could seem to take her mind, her time, going out with a horse and working with it just, just was a real, I think that was an answer prayer from God, but those is difficult. How do you bring the emotions in the mind?
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, I know there’s a lot of pressure on caregivers, right? Parents in your situation like you’ve described with Sharon and, you know, loved ones who are caring for maybe an elderly relative or, um, a sibling or just a friend, you know, who’s going through hard times or the end of life.
And, you know, you need something to relieve that pressure, something to relieve the stress, because it could crush you.
Charles Ware: Yeah, and our family was great. All our other kids, I know one son was graduating from, uh, from, uh, college and I just told him, I just, you know, your brother is hurt and I don’t know what I’m going to do.
I don’t know financially. I said, I hate to do this, but I just ask you, would you please, would you come home a little bit? Get a job who you money. I got, instead of just give me some time, I’ll get the job, take care of everything, you know, and his response was, yeah, dad, you know, that’s fine. I’ll be there.
And I always almost broke down and cried. You know, that, um, there was no hesitation from him, you know, I forget what he found his life. He wants to live it, but he said, no, I’m good, but let me just say this as a testimony to God’s people. Two was, I did have this question financially, how am I going to take care of my son?
And, uh, when we got back and we’re trying to do everything, I pastor made an announcement. People where’s need food. He said something like, well, can we get another phrase over here at church so that we don’t have to bother the wares? You could bring food in, just put it in the freezer and they can come and pick it out as they need it, you know, have free run into their house back and forth.
Well, actually they got about three freeze. Oh my gosh. He just told me, Hey, no more freezing. We got it covered. But people help that with people, help transport our kids. And then the biggest thing was that the pastor of our church, and some people from the Christian school where he was attending, said, we need to stop them at with trust fund waivers at church took up an offering on a Sunday night, one Sunday night, they took up $167,000.
David Hirsch: One night,
Charles Ware: one night. And I thought, well, I asked him that says, well, this was some rich person gave a big gift. He said, no, you may think that he said, but no, this was all people just giving. Uh, they love you. And, and, and, and so that happened, then the construction company that was ran by a guy who, who kids attended the school had met going to school and he said, we want to help you panic out house.
You need a handicap. Adapt the house. They said, come look at us subdivision. You find a house and we’ll build it at our costs. And we went, looked to subdivision about a quarter acre, third of acre land. So I asked her, do you, would you build a house on a private lot? And so I said, do you build a house? Is on private lots.
They said, well, you found a lot we’ll bill. So we wound up with 10 acres of land. They asked everybody to come in at a below their cost. Between the sell of the house and give some other people. We moved in debt free into a handicapped adapted house. And then a business guy said, you know, I want to, I want to have a dinner and I want to take up some little money to help your family with your son.
And so they did that. They took of $147,000 product, which was a Kroger food store gave us a 1998. Uh, eight, I think was Dodge caravan, completely handicapped adapted for us to transport that. So those types of things was like, I mean, not everybody gets stones, but God, but that goes back to that statement.
I mentioned with alerting when I was complaining that God I’m traveling all over the world, I don’t even know whether anybody remembers me. I only know what I’m doing. Good in this crisis. God reminded it’s look at the, look at the friends you built. You’ve complained about traveling now, these people, because they know you and know of your, somebody knows you, you preach there.
You’ve been sued there. All of them are coming together now. So that was a humbling as well as a spiritually educational process.
David Hirsch: Well, it’s an amazing testimony.
Charles Ware: God has been good
David Hirsch: that you were embraced by the community and it really underscores the importance of community.
Charles Ware: Yeah. When you’re going through these types of things.
I don’t know how you could do it all. So Matt says, so he gets this article. I mean, he gets, yeah. The articles and then you start and he’s on the news and they’d done specials on him and things like that. As they talked about his faith, he was visited from people from the Pacers, from, for do I think you from the coats, uh, there’s different athletes, college and professionals.
And they all talked about how he encouraged them, but then this testimony began to run in there and a women’s magazine went into prisons. He was given that his prisoners that read your story and blah, blah, blah. Uh, it was taken to a, holon a guy had a youth program in Harlem. So we did a documentary of strong Christian and Billy Graham’s last crusade.
Did he did an Indianapolis. He had three video testimonies for youth night. Matt was one of them. In fact, the guy that set that up, he said, your family want to meet in the ground. I said, yeah. So they took us in the building behind the stage and they set us up by the wall and they said, no, he’d be the ground.
They’re going to get, bring him around the golf cart. You just stay right here. So I figured he’d come and he’ll wave and keep on moving, but he stopped his golf cart, got off the car, came over and shook my hand, put his hand on that, prayed for him before he went out and preach. So, so I tell people, you know, some difficult things, but if the goal of our family is getting the faith out, we’ve done a much better job with a handicapped child than we did when he was so called home.
Because God just used that as a platform.
David Hirsch: That’s very powerful. So I want to go back a little bit. I think you had mentioned that Tim had put his college education on hold to be there for your family.
Charles Ware: Well, he was graduating, so he didn’t necessarily have to put it on hold, but you know, where you go out and get your job, start your own life.
He was living the comeback. Pick up a job, live in the house with us and helped me with the financial responsibilities, but, um, God had a different plan.
David Hirsch: So, so I’m wondering what impact Matt situations had on his other siblings or your extended family for that
Charles Ware: matter? What, you know, and there are positives and negatives there, but one of the things we did notice is that our family pool around that man, They really pull around and they try to be with him and try to serve him.
You know, he couldn’t pick up a spoon of flour would be on his head at that particular time. He even have enough strength for his arm and knock a flat out foul for theatre sweat. He can do some of that now. So they were there. I think that part of the challenge was, you know, he was getting so much attention that’s, especially some of the younger ones they had to give so much.
To it, but their spirit was, was good. Sharon was real sensitive to, you know, the kids that kind of lose in their life. So we are, we’re thankful for that. I’m sure it was rough at times when we were so consumed with Matt and his needs. But, um, but they, they contributed.
David Hirsch: So let’s switch gears. Um, you’ve authored a coauthored, a number of books.
Uh, one of them is one race, one blood. And then the other that I remember is evolution’s racist roots. Uh, when did you write the books and what was your primary motivation for doing that?
Charles Ware: The reasons are right Ken ham and I had kind of. Cross paths because we do a lot. I do a lot with racial reconciliation that I call it grace relations.
We kind of came together because, you know, even if you take disability history of a Darwinian evolution, I mean, Hitler used that as a justification for, um, killing, uh, people with disabilities there, they were not, the survival of the fit is they were not fitted. So why do you. Promote this weakness in society, it’s better to get them out of society.
That’s why we wrote that to fight for a biblical worldview and understanding of our society and biblical directions on how we should care for and, um, and minister and others, especially those who have been oppressed or marginalized. In society. So that’s, that’s kind of our, and by the way, we are doing update of that book right now as I speak.
And it’s going to be based on this scent concept.
David Hirsch: Well, we’ll have to circle back a year or two from now, and then, uh, look backwards after it’s out on the impact that it’s had. So I remember reading a story about an OTA Benga, a fellow that was born in 1881 in central Africa. His family was slaughtered by Belgian government thugs and he was sold into slavery in 1904.
Well from the Belgian Congo.
Charles Ware: Yeah. And he was bought to the U S and was put in the zoo because he was considered a specimen. He was between the eight and humans and the evolutionary cycle. And, uh, you know, and the sad thing of it is you had that here and you also had to have, originally from Australia was hunted down, kill in scientific experiments is again, trying to study this.
Yeah, that, that the connection between apes and humans and some of these great atrocities in, um, coming off of evolutionary thinking. And, and even today, we gotta be very, very careful because you got abortion on the one hand and part of what motivates abortion sometimes. Well, this child will have disability.
And so people are trying to argue that well, What is life, it’s an accident. It just happened. It just evolved. And you know, and you gotta think about this. Is this a human being? It’s not a human being, Oh, this is going to be a, they won’t have a quality of life. So, so you have these arguments that, that comes right down to a lot less than compassionate care comes out really to.
Vicious murder. And, um, so one of the things we hope through writing is that we will stir more compassion in people for life and, uh, different people struggle with different things in life. They’re still precious in God’s sight and hopefully they become more precious in our sight. Well, I’d
David Hirsch: like to think that things are improving, but there’s documentation.
It seems like every time you turn it around, I’ll just use the, and the down syndrome community. Um, the country of Iceland has proclaimed that they’ve eliminated downs from their society. And really all they’ve done is they’ve insisted that any pregnant woman be tested. And if you’re going to have a Down’s baby that they insist on the abort, the child, well, that’s in today’s day and age, we’re talking about 2018.
Which is how could that possibly be?
Charles Ware: And it is kind of mind boggling and God has created human beings in his image and they have an incredible ability to create. And I think if we used all that brain power. Well, we talked about how to destroy life. If we just use the creativity God’s given us and the technology and all that, and think, I want to figure out how to make life better for these people, because even some of the things we do see that, that, that, that, you know, people would love limbs and prosthetics and, and other things that are doing you think, wow, you know, you never know.
And then you think, well, what, even what, even more of that can be done, if we just really focused. That creative ability. God’s given us money in a fund instead of destroying life. Just how can we make it better? Like I can say more compassionate being credible. So
David Hirsch: you use the phrase of grace and race a lot.
Explain what you mean by
Charles Ware: that. Well, what I mean by that is I think our concept of racist spectrum, we talked about the black race, the white race, the yellow race, race, race, whatever those are constructions of human beings. That we created those, those categories. And in fact, especially when it comes back to, I always ask people how come, uh, president Barack Obama or some other person that one parent was white parents.
How can they play? How can they get you that? Well, well, we made the law one drop of white Subsaharan blood makes you black. Why because the white raise would those be superior because evolution would come on up and you get through European there at the top. So we want to keep that fewer. So you put the defects down here.
And so we’ve had this history of oppression based upon this manmade distinctions for superiority. And the question is that we’re dealing with now in our country so much. So how do we get out of this? How do we get out of it? Racism and how to get relationships. And I’m trying to say that Christians, well, one of the way you do that, if you come from the platform of grace rather than race, because as long as you keep them at race, you almost got a winner and a loser, your race.
So I blame and shame you. And then I get my race up and we’ve been in you and all that stuff. And I’m like, well, here’s the deal. The grace of God can deal with the fallenness of humanity. It’s on the grace of God, doesn’t deny sin. It expects them. You know, we have fallen human beings, so is strong enough to deal with cast sin off of forgiveness and build, present relationships around us and us rather than a Demond us and create a better future.
So I’m trying to feel Christians. Here’s an argument you hear sometime, you know, These white cops are killing these black young men. That’s racism. We need to stop it. Tired of seeing black young men killed. So a white person, are you tired of seeing black young man kill one more black young man killed black young men than white cops killed black young man.
And then they come back. Yeah, well, I don’t expect that they ain’t supposed to be the law that the kid, and I know what my thing is in either case they’re did. So, what I want to see from the church is how can we come with a comprehensive solution? How can we preach a gospel that change the individual’s life so that you’re, they’re more loving and can resolve conflict without guns and violence.
And how can we have government law enforcement that will be a terror to evil doers and appraise that those who do good. And if we got a bad cop, getting him out of there because. By and large God created law and order for our society to hold it together. And maybe we can do more of an education moving into more with job, but, but this is a comprehensive solution that comes from red, yellow, black, or white or whatever.
So that we start from the premise with grace, that we’re all human beings, we’re all fallen and retina, by the way, I’m trying to work on what could be a Christian biblical definition of racism. Or racist because of term. So overall it could come from you ignorantly saying a word. You don’t even know what it meant.
He didn’t even say it, but you are racist, even if you apologize, but you still racist to a person who it’s hard. I think they’re superior to another race, have ill intent and go out to do harm. It’s all under the canopy of a racist. And I’m saying. Biblically. That’s just too broad. And, and it, the whole concept would world is, is rather discouraging to bring people together because it basically puts us pits us against one another.
Can we identify issues that are sin? And could I be as concerned about a policy or a practice that would hurt you as my brother? As you can be about me and together, we look for policies or practices or attitudes that brings harm to eat along with us. And then together, we want to remove them all because we were brothers in Christ and we want to love one another.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well stated. So one thought that comes to mind that you sort of enlightened is that race seems to be more about winners and losers.
Charles Ware: Yes.
David Hirsch: Um, you know, and just the word race, not in the sense that black or white, but just a race, like to the finish, like somebody crossing the finish line, there’s a winner.
And by definition, if you didn’t win, you’re a loser. Right. Um, which is a really unhealthy way. To think about things because the world is not a zero sum game. It’s not really about winners and losers. It’s really about community. And I think that, um, we need to be more focused on what you were saying, which is building a.
Grace based society as opposed to a race based society.
Charles Ware: So that’s a hard, that’s a hard take for people because group, as I say, group politics work, you know? And so it’s like a dumb in us and, and, but I do believe it’s more biblical to, and again, it’s going to take, it’s like what I was talking about science and Darwinism.
I can spend my energy figuring out how to kill a baby. You know, that what I studied, if they were going to have a problem, so let’s kill it, like, or I could spend the energy thing of how can I make life better for this child? How can we help them? And I think with the whole race discussion, I can spend my life just thinking of how bad you treat it.
And then when I say me, man, I didn’t beat me, but my people and you treat people this way. So I got to. Get used to now trying to say, well, how can we come up with something that she was in, that’d be us in us so that we’re concerned about community. Yup.
David Hirsch: So let’s switch gears a little bit. And, uh, under the sort of banner of advice, I guess, going back to Matt situation, um, what are the most important takeaways that come to mind when raising a child with differences or disability?
Charles Ware: Well, things is husband, wife, commitment to one another. Many times divorce or abandonment. And I guess often about a husband is a result of such a thing. And, and, and some that can make, has, might feel that he’s failure or his life is limited too much as I could be alone with him. But, but what if you need it get counsel, but you, you really need to have better than one, and you really need that husband, wife team to be together.
A second advice that I heard. Um, that sometimes be hard to do, but, but you do need to work on it because we have finite, you take care of the provider. You, you give where to provide it out. If the provider think that they’re God, and they’re going to go 24 seven, and they’re never going to get an arrest and never going to get any, the rest of us will sometime bigger wound up dying before the person they’re taking care of.
Um, so I think you gotta figure out a way to how you get that. Emotional physical breaks where you need it.
David Hirsch: So there’s one way I’ve heard that side is that you have to be selfish before it can be selfless, which means that you need to take care of yourself so that you’re healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, before you can be available.
Onto somebody else.
Charles Ware: Yeah. The illustrating they give with that. If you ran a plane, if you’re on a plane and they have problem and the oxygen mask on first before you take care of the kid or something. Exactly. And yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that’s good. And I also think, as you mentioned earlier, you know, if community is so important, if you people come around you and help you.
And, and I encourage people. Sometimes the little things you don’t have to be a doctor or some, but these little things that you can give him that cook a meal for them and I’ll watch the person while they go out for an hour, even if it’s an hour, uh, just that community around the prayer, to the, uh, notes of encouragement, uh, we were really encouraged us.
The amount of people who wrote notes, just to know that they were thinking about us and they cared about us. It means a lot for the disabled person to have a goal that they’re working towards met, found out he could work towards driving. No, that was a big thing for him. So he got him to do an exercise he wasn’t doing before, but he could, he could get tickets test and he could drive.
And he, he, he accomplished that
David Hirsch: driver’s license.
Charles Ware: Yeah. Yeah.
David Hirsch: So he’s a quadriplegic and he has a driver’s license. That’s pretty hard to imagine
Charles Ware: call it technology. He got these little things. He. Because they put all that turn steering wheel buttons, he could push that would turn on his air conditioning.
Is he? So there’s so many good things that God has given us a disc degeneration that others didn’t have, but, you know, counsel with other people, as you mentioned, that somebody that talked to few difficult fans who listen to you and help encourage you along the way. Good reading good. Like you’ve put together podcasts or videos or something that you could see somebody that has gone through it, made it through it.
And, um, and by the way, you’re not crazy. When you feel worn out times cry, feel like you can’t do it. I mean, those are not even depression. That’s no, no normal. Like I told you, Matt didn’t have it pressure. In fact, it was his psychiatrist is coming in to see him when he was in hospital and he came to me and he said, uh, uh, what your son said, tell you, son, I’m trying to help him.
He won’t even talk to me. He says, I’m trying to help him. And so I went in and I said, man, that’s, what’s up. That’s it. The guy says he trying to hit you and you won’t even talk to him. So Matt says. He’s trying to tell me I’m depressed. I’m not depressed. Maybe he needs a psychiatrist. Maybe he’s depressed.
Trying to make me sound depressed. I’m not depressed. Okay. So I’ve told the guy, I said, well, he says you’re Jay and Adam. I mean, probably he was going from that. He’s gotta be depressed. It will be depressed, but he wasn’t. So, but you know, there’s so many stigmas. And as you said, feeling alone, are people looking at, you they’ll know what to say by blah, blah, blah.
So when you can find people who give you some sense of acceptance and encouragement and want to spend time with you, then we need that.
David Hirsch: Well, let’s give a shout out to our friends at Johnny and friends for introducing us. They’re an amazing organization. Not just, uh, here in Indianapolis or in Chicago, out in California where they’re headquartered, but it’s really a global disciples of ministry for people in the disability community,
Charles Ware: down in friends that are incredible because they do a lot of what I just said.
They inspire people with disabilities. They are special. And they have something to give. People may have got disabilities, but they’re still gifted of God and they have ministry and they have a contribution to make to the church.
David Hirsch: Absolutely. So I’m sort of curious, why did you agree to be a mentor father as part of the special fathers network?
Charles Ware: Well, you know, I’m 68 years old and uh, you know, I had this quadruple bypass. Surgery. And so God used that, but some other things to move me into this race relations, and that’s not just race, it’s just grace. But part of that is God is saying, you know, bodily, what you need to do, what your time is there to mentor people.
You need to, you need to, I’ve had people tell me, Oh, you’re my mentor. And I’m like, I’m not your mentor. I don’t, I never tried to mentor you a set. I was mentoring you, but. They look at no. Will you talk to me? Listen to me. You helped me come out. My done. So why don’t I just finally decided, okay. I’m not arguing with you anymore.
I’m your mentor, even though I don’t believe in that. And so when you mentioned this, I just don’t really know. That’s something that God is challenging me about. People have ministered to me and mentored me through difficult times and they like every day they call them here every week, but it’s like, Critical times in my life, pick up the phone call nail to it and helping I think, Oh, well, I’m not crazy.
Okay. You’ve seen this before and they given us and God has used that. So, so I just feel like God has sovereignly put me in this world. And if there’s some contribution I can make to help advance the kingdom, encourages people, I’m more than willing to try.
David Hirsch: Well, we’re happy to have you. Thank you.
Charles Ware: Thank you.
David Hirsch: So, if someone wants to get a copy of her book or to learn about crossroads Bible college, or to contact you, how would they go about doing that?
Charles Ware: Well, and on the book, they can go on the website or Amazon, but they can go in here crossroads.d.edu. And if they wanted to contact me, they could just do firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Hirsch: Excellent. So brother, where thank you for taking the time and the many insights as a reminder, dr. Whereas just one of the dads who has agreed to be a mentor father as part of the Special Fathers Network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs.
If you’d like to be a mentor father or are seeking advice from a mentor father with a similar situation, your own, please go to 21stcenturydads.org. Thanks again.
Charles Ware: Well, thank you. Amen.
David Hirsch: Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap up?
Charles Ware: Well, I just, wouldn’t like to say that I appreciate your, your passion to try and get dads, minorities, African Americans, and others.
You know, one of the things that speaks about our, having more in common than, than differences is that disability is no respect of persons. And that could be one of those rallying points that brings us together. To try to address this need. And, uh, I want to do that.
David Hirsch: That’s fabulous. Well, one of the things that, um, comes to mind is that disability knows no gender geographic or socioeconomic boundaries.
It affects everybody in urban, suburban, and rural communities here in the U S and around the world. And if you recognize that you realized that we’re all part of, you know, one community,
Charles Ware: amen. I love that. That’s what I call communities of life. We find like con problem. And we bring a collective solution as a community, then that’s, this is one we definitely should be able to rally around.
David Hirsch: Thanks again.
Tom Couch: And thank you for listening to the dad to dad podcast produced by couch. Audio for the Special Fathers Network, the Special Fathers Network. He’s a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process. New fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for fathers to support fathers go to 21stcenturydads.org. That’s 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re your dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed. Facebook group, please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad.
Tom Couch: And again, to find out more about the special father’s network, go to 21stcenturydads.org, 21stcenturydads.org.