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

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Picture on A Shirt

When you live in the hood,it's common for you to see pictures of deceased family members or friends plastered on a t- shirt. You might even see the name of the person written on the back of a car, designed and cut into the hair style of a friend with the letters R. I. P. attached to it. All to show respect and honor to the dead. We see that a lot around here, more so lately. Last week four people were shot, the target was meant for one, but because a bullet doesnt have a name on it, 2 were killed, and 2 were hospitalized( 31 yr old mom and her 14 yr old son). 2 young boys(21 & 17 yr old) killed,over a dice game. My stomach and heart both hurt everytime I think about it. I begin to weep the other day over the lives of these 2 young men. I begin to weep about the lives of the boys we know who could have easily been involved in this or in the path of the bullets. I, had just exited the area the shoot out occurred at least by an hour. God was very gracious to me and the little girls I was taking home. I weep at the thought of these boys not having a chance due to the life of sin they may have chosen to live. I was telling my husband the other day how this situation reminds me of the lyrics to a song by Christian rap artist Thisl. In his song, he talks about the reality of death in the hood. He describes three people who chose to live life fast in the hood and how they are remembered here on earth.
In his song he says....

"it's a shame, ain't no telling who that boy could have been with the influence of a few good men, to see him on the ground, man, it makes my heart hurt, but now (insert name here) gone, he's just another picture on a shirt"

Just a picture on a shirt. Lives God created with a purpose, men God created with dignity are now gone. Oh, how my heart just breaks man out of sadness for these guys. It's like I was sad, yet, I felt a glimmer of hope. I then begin to weep out of joy because God is still in the midst of raising up godly young men who CAN make a difference in their hood. Boys who have the privilege of having godly men mentor them and spend time with them week after week, encouraging them that street life is not the way to go. I begin to think about every sleepover we've had as staff, every holy hip hop concert we've been to and invited the kids in our neighborhood to attend, all the time spent at the building with kids, all the long conversations about life and the choices you make, have all been ways God has chosen to call us to impact the younger generation. For me personally, It makes the things mentioned above so much more important. You just never know how you may be impacting others around you.

What will happen to them as they grow older, only God knows. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit would intercede and that the course of life for these boys would be one that is promising.

Please pray for my community. Many of us are in fear. There has been talk of retaliation. Some of our kids who live where the crime was committed are suffering from flashing images of the deceased laying on the ground. They are restless and need your prayers. We need wisdom as a staff on how to minister during this difficult time. We need God to move in our hood, like never before. Thank you for standing in the gap for us.

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