I thought today would be another ordinary day. I went about my usual morning routine, bustling out of my apartment and racing against time. I walked out into the street, looked up at the sky and noticed it was a beautiful day. I said goodmorning to my neighbors and made a right heading toward the subway.
I was in my own world, listening to the song Liquid by Jars of Clay (one of my favorite Christian bands). Until I happened upon a teenage boy yelling, cursing and hitting this girl in the face. At first glance, I thought he might have been playing around, but I quickly realized that he wasn't. The expression onthe girl's face moved me with compassion. I realized I had to make a choice, either to stop and say something, or keep going and ignore it.
I decided to do the latter, I mustered up enough courage, headed toward the young man and said, "Excuse me, but would you kindly stop doing what you are doing and refrain from hitting her? I don't think he was expecting anyone to say anything to him. So he responded, "What?!" So I said, "Would you stop doing what you are doing and refrain from hitting her?" He said, "Who the bleep are you!", "Why don't you just go bleep myself!", "Why don't you mind your own bleeping business!", "She's my sister and I can bleeping talk to her any way I bleeping want to!", "So, get the bleep out of my face!"
These words just seemed to surprisingly bounce off of me and had no effect. I was clearly nervous, but I forged ahead and held my position. I sternly said to the young man, that he had two choices; he was either going to stop hitting his sister, or I would call the police. Well, obviously, he cursed me out some more, and for a more dramatic effect, grabbed his body part and all... I just told him Jesus loved him. He looked at me like I was half way out of my mind and I just won't repeat what he said Jesus could do. But, something compelled me to follow him and keep telling him Jesus loved him. So, I followed him and his friends telling him, Jesus loved him. At this point, he was cursing and yelling in frustration, saying, "What did God ever do for him!" "How is He helping him!" I responded by saying, "He's giving you life, that's what He is doing for you!" He then says, "What the bleep do you want from me and why do you keep bleeping following me!" I calmly told him that I wanted to talk to him. So he stopped at the corner as his friends continued on.
I justed asked him if he thought hitting his sister was an effective way of communication? He said, that that's what his parents did and he doesn't want his sister to wind up like him; a drop out. I told him I understood and that it was a good thing that he cared about his sister going to school. I also told him he could go back to school. But he said that he couldn't. However, that he was working toward getting his GED though, and will be going to college. I told him that was great that he was still pursuing his education. I told him he was a good kid and that he can do it. Then I asked him if anyone had disrespected him and he shook his head yes. I asked him how it made him feel? He responded, not good. I told him, wouldn't you agree then, that there is a more effective way of communicating beside cursing and hitting his sister? He didn't say anything, but just listened.
Then I used myself as an example and explained that I am 42 years old and still trying to overcome the effects of abuse when I was a child. I told him there is a much better way than abuse and disrespect. Abuse and disrespect don't get the proper results, but is very harmful and messes people up. He was really listening and taking in what I was saying. Then I just saw this hurt little boy standing in front of me. I felt so much compassion for him, my heart grieved and all I wanted to do was hug him or cry. But I held myself back, because he would have really thought I was crazy! So I just apologized to him and he in turn apologized to me. I told him I wanted the best for him and I also cared about his sister graduating from High School. I concluded my conversation with him by saying that Jesus really loved him. He just smiled at me this time. I told him that it's true, that He really loves him because He had me follow him and not give up on him. I shook his hand and told him, God bless you.
In writing this, I say, that my heart is grieved for our youth. There are so many hurting children throughout this city. I admit that my heart has always been focussed overseas. However, God showed me this morning how great the need is amongst our children in this very city. Will you please join me in praying and interceding for our youth? May a great revival sweep throughout this city bringing our youth into His Kingdom for the glory of God I pray, Amen!
In His love,