Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gang Graffiti

"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:3-7, NIV).

While taking Christopher to the park in our neighborhood this evening, I noticed that the playground equipment had been covered with gang graffiti. I was grateful that Christopher could not read yet, because of the absolute obscenity of what had been written. However, I was saddened by the dark and evil mindset that has captured the children who wrote those words filled with hatred, arrogance, and disrespect (especially directed toward their girlfriends).

I do not know the identity of the gang members, but I know that they are in danger. They are on a path of self-destruction. They are on the path to hell. They need people who care about them, people who will pray for them, people of courage, and people who will lead them to Jesus Christ. Otherwise, they are heading toward certain disaster.

As an urban ministry, the Contact Church of Christ reaches out to kids like those who defaced our neighborhood park. Thank God for all the teachers, preachers, and volunteers who are trying to make a difference. And it's all because of the difference that God has made in our lives.


MICHAEL said...

About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

Peace Be With You

Terry said...

Thanks for the comment, michael. You are the first to leave a comment from outside the USA.