As a young boy I was raised in a strict “morally religious” atmosphere, and attended church almost every night. I didn’t want to fit in, I always wanted to stand out, even if I stood alone. This created in me a rebel without a cause mentality. Know what I mean?
I dealt with a lot of hurt from the outside and internal turmoil because I had no one to speak to or attend to my angst. Ultimately, it turned into burst of anger as a release. My eyes were captive to much violence, and being held wide open under duress, they saw what no child should. The constant beatings of a women who was accused of the most horrible acts. Later, at about the age of twelve, a murder right on the avenue in front of the school yard.
Even now I flinch thinking of that day. Yet as a boy ignorant of the evil men do, I actually ran towards the sounds of the shots. I did not realize that attraction was leading me into the wilderness of sorrow, where only my tears would quench my thirst for forgiveness.
My early years became a mix of desert and oasis where I would only get enough to go on my solitary track. I walked so far into darkness that the only light I saw in the horizon was the size of a pinhole. I was on a downwards spiral and enjoying the spin.
Never being the type of person to try something new because everyone else was, I began attacking my own morals…an attack on all instituted structure. Now as a teen, I dabbled in sexual promiscuity and the abuse I was introduced to as a boy brought a desire to hurt anyone who rejected me or did not validate my pain. I had that “you can’t tell me nothin'” attitude and my rebelliousness would be cured in time.
It was only when living for the enemy became a dull venture, that I reached the outer limit of darkness. Finally, instead of benefiting from it, I saw the hurt I caused others from inside a lowly prison cell in the Detention Center in Philly, where I had an encounter that would redirect my feet.
In the black of night from what seemed a dream I cried out, “SAVE ME FATHER”! Driven to my knees, bent forward, I inundated my barren wilderness with unceasing tears. These tears became a river, reaching the pinhole of light which now I saw growing and moving towards me. When I slowly lifted my head from prayer I found myself bathed in light and the voice of a man saying; “I love you my son”. These were the words that would change my life, the words I never heard from any man… and now understood that to be the voice of the Lord. I felt His arms around me, lifting me from the lower parts of darkness and introducing me into His marvelous light. I realized God had heard my cry, rescued me from myself, giving to me everything I did not deserve and saving me from the hell I did deserve by placing into my account the finished works of His Son on the cross.
Today, an angry boy has become a loving man only by the rivers of His grace. The constant flowing of the living waters He has provided quench this thirsty soul who has gone from darkness to Light. Praise GOD and His Son, my Lord Jesus. Since He has done it for me… He can, and most certainly will, do it for you. Just ask!
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