Hitting Home

PoliceLights Prw


Last night a 15 year old African American kid was murdered in his home by another 15 year old friend. I’m not sure what started it, as details will emerge eventually, but it ended in murder.

I see this all the time on television. You do too. Newscasters reporting the murder of teenagers by other teenagers. Mostly gang related, but not always. We shake our heads and say “tsk, tsk” or “how awful” then turn the channel because we are tired of bad news.

This was different. This was my neighbor. His yard connects with mine. He walked past my house on the way to school, or to play basketball. But I didn’t really know him.

We’d nod and say “hi”, or sometimes just nod. We’d had issues in the past, some problems in the neighborhood that were associated with him. The police knew him. I had talked with him. But I didn’t know him. I mean I never invested my time to get to really know him.

And for the first time, instead of saying “this is awful”, I am saying “this has to stop”. I have worked with teens for over 30 years. I have seen very troubled youths, confused youths, but usually very angry youths. White kids, black kids, rich kids, poor kids, male, female, and those trying to figure out what they are. Confused.

Suicide is the number three killer of teens. Murder is number one. The kids are killing each other. It has to stop.

It’s not a gun issue. It’s a heart issue.

I wonder if I would have presented Christ to him if he’d still be alive? Would he have made better decisions? I wonder if I would have even mentioned the freedom that comes from knowing Christ personally if it would have made a difference? What if I had prayed more than I did or if I stopped him along his walk, if it would have made a difference?

People ask if I’m afraid in this neighborhood. No. It just reinforced something I already knew. This is my missions field. This is where I am to be. To bring hope and light to a dark part of the world.

While others may sit in their ivory towers, I am not permitted to do so. I see troubled teens all the time. Suicidal teens. Angry teens. And hopeless teens. Teens without hope. And how can I not bring Christ? I can’t. I have to bring Him to a dying world, a dying generation of teens who feel that death is better than life.PoliceLights PrwSomewhere a mother is crying because her son is dead. Not just somewhere, but next door.



8 Responses

  1. Excellent entry. Thought provoking, soul wrenching and too real! Way too real. This is now our lives in America. I’ve recently come to this very conclusion in my own mind. I said to The Lord, just as Sarah: ” Lord…I am getting old in years. I don’t feel old but my years say I am. You are asking me to do what? You are asking me to tell the broken, the addicts, the criminals, the dregs of society…” He said” yes”. A simple yes. Why me? Why you Joe? As for me He put me into a five year boot camp consisting of accelerated classes meant to prepare me for 2017. You are one of tbe pillars of tbe school with 30 years of on the job experience and training and now He is saying: ” Go and tell them about me. Go and tell them of my love. Go and share that love that I have freely given you” . He said go out to the highways and biways. He is telling you and I to go to the streets and prisons. Go to the mental health wards. Go to Belmont Pines and go to Washington County jail. The fields are white with harvest but our streets are running with blood. No Pastor Joe…you and I are not permitted to sit in our ivory towers……

  2. It is a sad situation…. But what a way to advertise.. You could have written this without the business logo …… My heart aches for both families…. Shame on you for useing a business site…… I know where I won’t eat….

    • Business sight? Joe’s Bistro is a fictional name. It means basically to “come enjoy a bite to eat with your eyes and ears”. It’s not a restaurant, it’s to feast on the blog.
      Thanks for turning a positive into a negative by jumping to conclusions. Shane on you.

  3. That’s tragic. I served as. Youth minister for a few years and what kids teenagers are dealing with is far beyond what I faced when I was younger. Praying for you and your work bro.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I always wanted to save the world. I now just try to reach at least one.

      • And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9. Keep doing the good work

  4. And now I just read the boy died. Blessings of comfort and peace to all involved…

  5. Thank you for this.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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