I arrived back at my home last night, it was late and none of the kids knew I was home so there was still a few more hours of quiet to be had in my life or so I thought, but last night I lay in bed listening to Kelly Price blare from a car stereo right below my window, I listened to my neighbors who had a little more than enough to drink argue over trivial things that make no sense to anyone but them, I listened to gun shots ring in the distance, sirens blare down the streets and helicopters hovering over the neighborhood. No one truly understands, but these sounds are my noise machine, these are the sounds that “comfort” me when I sleep, I couldn’t sleep last night, so around 11 p.m. I started praying, a few hours prior there had been seven shootings all within just a few hours of each other and two of them triple shootings, at least two people had been confirmed dead, that’s nineteen people killed in the month of May.
I begin to pray for our city, I began to pray for my kids, I begin to pray for my families, for my neighborhood, I thank God that it wasn’t closer to home this time, I pray for the families that are affected, for the victims. I wonder what the gunman was like, was he a kid, was he a young man lost without a dad or someone to love him, I wonder what the “motive was?”
I begin to pray for the boys I see on a daily basis walk through my life, and I can offer them nothing more than a safe place to play basketball, and a little love and encouragement, which for the time being gets them by, but I wonder where are the men of God in this city who should be busting their tails to spread the love of Jesus to these boys? I think about all the times that my boys tell me, they just want a man who cares, they just want a man who will listen, who will understand their lives and walk along side them. I know it’s not easy to get into these boys lives, and it can become frustrating when they don’t show up and you find them hustling on the corner and it’s tough when they sit a look at you like you’ve got five heads as you try to tell them about Jesus? But let’s think about this, does God walk away from us when we don’t make it easy for him to invade our lives? Does he walk away from us when we don’t “show up” to spend time with Him, to pray? To read His word? Does He give up on us when we’re walking the other direction doing things we shouldn’t be doing? Does He give up on us when we don’t understand His love for us and we begin to drift?
NO! So why are we giving up on our boys? And yes they are OUR boys? As a community of Christians are we not called to love the orphans…the fatherless…the widows? Last time I checked these boys fall into that category? Most of them are fatherless, and some of them are mother and fatherless…so why are we not loving them?
Honestly, I had so much more I wanted to write today, but I feel like I need to end this blog with this challenge? Men where are you? Are you praying about how you can influence the boys around you? Whether they are boys running in Baltimore City gangs, pushing drugs on the corner? Whether they are boys on your baseball team who are just as vulnerable to life as the city boys? Are you praying about the young man you work alongside? Have you asked the boys in your lives how they are, have you “pryed” about the things happening in their lives? Will that boy you passed on the street or how you casually said hello too today be the next victim? Will he be the next gunman?
I pray daily that Christ invades the lives of my boys, I also pray daily that God would send more committed men of God to our neighborhood, to this city, to the cities that surround us, who will invest time in these tough boys, who will bounce a basketball, buy some pizza and attempt to make connection with these boys? My heart is burdened today, my heart is aching for these boys, will you pray with me?