“I will stab you,” is not something I want to hear.
But…it’s something I do hear, in one form or another, almost on a weekly basis.
No one has threatened to stab me, at least not to my face.
It might be over a video game, a dropped pass, a broken friendship, but those words still come out and it’s always frightening. Not because of what I think they’ll do to me, but because of what they’ll do to each other.
That might seem like a stretch, but consider this. Last month one minor walked up to another minor, blocks from my house, and shot him in the chest more than enough times, killing him.
Sadder still is the kid that killed the other kid was someone we had taken to camp and shared the gospel with.
I simply have no answer.
Fear is not the answer. We are commanded not to be afraid. It’s easy to read a verse like Isaiah 41:10; “So do not fear for I am with you,” That sounds nice. It feels different when you’re walking back to your house in the dark. A kid I work with was too afraid to walk home alone, so I walked him home. On the way back a local gang banger pulled a gun on me in the dark before realizing who I was. When I saw him reach for his gun I simply raised my hand, waved and said, “Hey,______, how’s it going?” He hesitated, put his gun back into his pants, laughed and said, “Good, how are you?” Ha, Ha, We talked for a bit and then parted ways, neither of us ever mentioning the gun. I’ve shared the gospel with him before, I’ll look for an opportunity to do it again.
From when I was a child, my first memories of going to Sunday School, I was told to be brave, to be courageous, that God was with me! Christians teach their kids their whole lives to look up to people like Daniel, Joseph, Paul and King David: men of valor who trusted the Lord. Then their kid says, “I want to be a missionary,” or “Move to the ghetto,” and the church they grew up in and the parents that raised them say, “What are you crazy? Don’t you know how dangerous that is?!”
Until our words match up with our actions, we will continue to lose our children.
As I write this post, all that comes to mind are my own mistakes, my own issues I need to work on.
How can I be a better example of Jesus Christ? What is the spiritual legacy that I will leave for my children?