I have a quote taped to my Rolodex that says: “A leader is a person who enters into the agony and the pain of the people of their time.” That is reflected in the writing below, as Caleb shares some sobering encounters he has had recently.
By Caleb Reed:
What is ordinary? What is normal? Yesterday was anything but that. I woke up to what I thought was going to be a typical day. I had plans of writing this article (on a different topic), plans of working on goals and strategies for 2017, and maybe even swinging through Starbucks for a Christmas Blend Dark Roast. Well, today has been far from ordinary. Late last night, I received a message about a young man who overdosed and was sent to the hospital, not doing well at all. This morning as I prepared my heart and mind for visiting him, I reflected on the past years of seeing this young man grow and mature. I reflected on the time that he was awarded “Camper of the Week,” and how he had been setting the example for many young men and women to follow. As I walked into the hospital room, I could tell he was surprised–surprised that I had come to visit, but thankful. We had a good visit talking about the past, the present, and the future, and he said, “I got real lucky. This could have been a lot worse.”
There are a lot of lessons here to be learned by this young man, and my prayer is that he takes this as a wake up call and that we as the body of Christ can surround him and support him in his daily life. Through visiting this young man, I learned of another young man who was shot over the weekend. This young man I have seen grow up and come in and out of the church. As I learned more and found out that he was doing ok and the gunshot was not life threatening, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
You can quickly see that this day has been anything but ordinary. My heart has not been this heavy for a while, so today has been spent in prayer and conversation with God. It has been spent reaching out to some young men who are heavy on my heart whom I know God has big plans for, but it takes them surrendering their lives completely to Him. While visiting one young man today, I said, “It’s time to get things straightened out. I want to be able to visit you like this, face to face. I don’t want to visit you in a hospital bed, behind bars, or worse. It’s time to walk the straight and narrow.” He agreed, and we spent our time talking about some exciting things in his future.
I share all this to open the door and let you as the reader see into some of the things we deal with while working in the inner-city. Now more than ever, I feel in my heart and see with my eyes the need–the need for strong men and women of faith to step out and reach those who are hurting, those who are lost, those who are searching for direction in life. We have a need, and it is not going away anytime soon. That need is a community that needs to experience the transforming power of JESUS.
Join myself and our team in prayer as we continue to reach the youth of our community!