Monday, April 4, 2011

Light of the World...

The Lord calls on us to serve by being disciples of his word.  I recently had the opportunity to talk to a troubled youth – and when I say youth, I just mean one that is younger than me…which is half the population – as I transported this 20 year old kid to jail for drug related offenses.  As I spoke to him, my normal course of conversation was related to the job.  Talked about things such as how long he had been using, what he was using, how much, what affects he felt, etc. These were questions designed to increase my knowledge and experience.

Matthew 5: 14-16 ~ 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

As I often do now, I was listening to K-Love radio on the way to the jail.  While we were talking, the morning show crew was interviewing Shawn McDonald about his life and where the Lord has taken him on his journey.  I stopped talking and listened to the interview.  I was also watching the facial expressions of the kid in my back seat.

Shawn was talking about how he started being a typical mischievous kid toilet papering houses and simple bouts of vandalism.  He then began hanging with the wrong crowd of people and his life went downhill fast.  Shawn was stealing, selling and using drugs.  Shawn then talked about how he came to find the Lord again and made a conscious decision to change his life and begin seeking the Lord.  The day before police came knocking on his door; he disposed of his drugs leaving officers with nothing to find.  Shawn had many trials and tribulations since that point, but continued to find his way back to the Lord.

During this interview, I could see the expressions changing on the face of the kid in my back seat as he pondered his life.  At the conclusion of the interview, I thought about what to say to this kid.  I could have continued with my education interview, but I chose to talk to him about the Lord.  I asked him if he listened to the interview and he told me he had.  He told me the story sounded similar to his.  This 20-year-old kid has been addicted to Oxy for the past five years and similar to Shawn, he began hanging out with the wrong crowd.

This kid had attempted to break away from the habit, going to rehab and not hanging with his same group of people.  He talked about how hard it was to give up the lifestyle, especially when he would find himself back with the same group of people.  I took a deep breath and asked him if he had ever been to church and he told me he had.  I then took the opportunity to give him my testimony.  I told him that just as Shawn had done, if he gave himself to the Lord and asked for forgiveness and help with escaping his current lifestyle, the Lord would provide for him.  I told him that it was not going to end overnight, but it would take time and perserveraence.

As he and I talked during the booking process, I could tell that he was searching for a way out.  Just prior to slamming the door shut to the intake cell, I told him to take the time to pray and ask the Lord for help and guidance.  I told him I found the Lord and so could he.  I wished him the best of luck as the heavy steel doors swung closed with a loud Thud…

We lose our way, 
We get back up again 
It's never too late to get back up again, 
One day you will shine again, 
You may be knocked down, 
But not out forever..

Toby Mac – Get Back Up

Whether or not he will take my advice is unknown to me.  Whether or not someone will change based on what you say or do, you must continue to be the Light of the World so others “may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.