He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Monday, October 27, 2008

From One Hood To Another

Grandma was in the kitchen cooking as usual as I sat on the floor playing. Though we lived in the city, it was clear she had those southern roots in her, because, baby... you could smell it in the food!! :) As she worked over the stove, I hear the patter of feet behind me at the back door. I turn around and see a strange man standing in our kitchen..what he wanted..I wasn't sure, but in the Englewood community if a strange man was walking into your home, it meant trouble,uh, death at times. I turn to look for grandma and she was gone. I look back at the strange man, and he is running out of door, because of the weapon grandma has return with in the kitchen to scare him off. I cant believe I still have memories of my old hood. It reminds me soo much of the place I am now, Just A LOT WORST, so WORST.

As I checked my email earlier I saw on yahoo a news report about the family of academy award winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson. Click here to read more about this tragic story. That was my hood, that's where I am from Englewood. Englewood once known as "Junction Grove", is located on the southwest side of Chicago, Illinois .Englewood was the home of Dr. H. H. Holmes, one of the first serial murderers in America. His hotel located at Wallace and 63rd streets was the scene of most of his crimes.
Today, it has been suggested that Englewood is making attempts to gentrify. Also from what I have read, many of its buildings are falling apart and 43% of the residents live below the poverty line. Over 700 murders have occurred there in only 10 years.

This is where I am from. This is where I was born and raised. I just would have never thought that the LORD would bring me back to a place so similar, and give me such a heavy burden for the people in it. As I watched news reports today about this community my heart just ached, my stomach turned, and I just cried out..one in thankfulness and praise over how the LORD has saved me from my sin..thoughts of 'what if I still lived there and didn't know who Jesus was, what would my life look like??' ( because I tell you, I was as HOOD as they get, you hear me!! lol) I was so humbled at that..

Then I began to think about how there are people there looking, searching and crying out for the hope of the gospel that they so desperately need... I know the LORD cares for this community and all of the hoods abroad... I look at some of the kids in my hood and I see so much of who I was growing up...what a testimony of HOPE, and REDEMPTION the LORD has given me to share with all.. Pray that I handle it with care, and wisdom

Would you pray with me for the Hudson Family?? Pray that His comfort, peace and salvation fall upon them during this tragedy. Pray that the LORD would send some 'beautiful feet' to share HIS love and all who hear the gospel would taste and see that HE is good.

ps-- did I mention the reason why we had to leave the hood was because I burned the house down...really..it was no more. All of my family had to live in different place over the next 3 or 4 months. That house fire is what landed us into the South burbs of the city.. Yes, I am one serious NEW CREATION!