Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ya Gotta Love The Streets

Words like what’s up, good time’s, and Wodaa fills the air, young man chasings car’s yelling “Hey, Hey” as they whistle to make a drug sell. I see young ladies being pull to the side of the road by men twice their age some with a young child on their side already. Yup, that’s when I know I’m on the streets in the heart of the projects in my Lil town where the lost gather and broken heart s corral.

I smile as I walk sometimes nodding my head to greet a stranger even speaking the language at times (what’s up) I would say. You see, these streets are a different world those who are in them cannot see past the scales on their eyes. The people who roam these streets view the world in an different light. In fact, there is no light for them to view. When I hear a church mention the phase "street ministry" it makes me feel uncomfortable not knowing whom they will choose to be the leader of the pack. You can’t just send out anyone to the streets it must come natural you have to have a feeling for the task

Example when Christ wanted the disciples to catch a fish and gatherer money out of its mouth to pay taxes, he didn’t send the disciple who was a tax collector he sent the fishmen. Christ used the skills inside one to perform a task, I believe it’s no different than street ministry; you have know your roll.

When I move through the hood sometimes it’s just to show my face letting them see me around; other times I’m stopping to ask questions to the youngster about life. I don’t judge because the saved is just a sinner who was down and was bless enough to get up. I put myself in their shoes. I embark on conversations that they can related to, like how the police treat them, school, something they might be involved in. I allow these lost souls to talk their heart out with no perceived or hidden agenda; I listen and listen and listen.

I know someone might say isn’t the purpose of being out there is to save souls and you would be correct, but I cannot take away what God has given them and that’s a choice. So I have no agenda but I do have faith that after they are done venting and sharing that they would allow me to pray or share testimonies of what Christ has done for me. Street ministry is about showing where God could bring a person from.

For me personally, I share how I slept on the floor in the jail house and how I faced three felonies. I share how I was unfaithful to the woman I loved. I share how I used to drink and smoke weed until the cows came home. I give them a sample of who I used to be, and how God changed me into the man of purpose and integrity of today.

The streets, you got to love them. It is the one place where you could find soul’s who truly want the truth. Ask yourself when was the last time you passed thorough a rough neighbor and locked your doors as you rolled by? What do you say when you see someone's pants hanging of their (back side)? When I view that rough neighbor I see challenges but also opportunity.

When I see someone with their pants hanging down I view them as prospects of hope. How could one view this in that manner, easy it’s the same feeling you get when you see a blind man walking across the street, you want to be his eyes because they cannot see. This is the same way we should feel about the street let’s not fault them for being blind let’s try and be their eyes. But just like the blind man walking across the street he has a choice whether he will allow you to help him or not, street ministry is all about giving them a choice.


Be sure to check out Donald Bogen's "Bathroom Minister" videos on http://www.youtube.com/ and http://www.livinginblackandwhite.com/

Donald is a minister with Church of God In Christ in Louisiana. I met this example of Christ's love on Living In Black and White--Real Life In Christ social media site. Donald isn't afraid to keep things real in talking with people. All it takes is a few minutes either in person, blogging, or chat to know he doesn't play and has a heart for help other people.


Terri Tiffany said...

I loved reading his perspective on the streets--made me think about it in a whole different light and also thankful a man like him is out there walking them.:)

Angie Ledbetter said...

What a nice post!

Geri said...

Thanks for giving us the a different perspective on life. It's always good to have such experiences.