Mercy on a Street Corner
As I was setting up for Bible Club last week, I saw several kids I didn’t know squaring up to each other, getting ready to fight. I started to approach them to see what was going on, and they stopped squaring up and started looking at me nervously.
I was trying to think of what to do or say as I walked toward them, but I didn’t really have any clue. Usually when I break up fights, I try to come up to kids in an intimidating way (as much as I can), to scare them into not fighting. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.
I stood right next to them and they looked at me in fear -- I could hear some of them mumble, “He's going to call the cops."
I looked the kids in the eyes and began to smile, saying, "I just wanted to come over here to invite you guys to Bible Club at Neland Avenue Church.”
I could see the shock on their faces: they stopped clenching their fists, relaxed their shoulders, and said, "Is that it? Alright. We might check it out."
To my surprise, an hour later, the kids who were about to fight all came walking through the front doors of the church. They were greeted by a volunteer and connected with a leader, who accepted these kids as his “family” for the night. They ate a meal together and, after eating, heard the gospel story (as told by connecting Jesus to the messages in Ecclesiastes and Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings”).
At the end of the night, they started the registration process with Community Kids, and were given info and camp paperwork. I was able to meet their parents and invite them back to Bible Club.
The only reason this could happen is because Jesus Christ changed my life. God has offered grace and mercy to me, so that I can show mercy to others, in all circumstances. There are definitely plenty of times that I relate to kids in a stern way. This might have its place sometimes, but this wasn’t the time. All I had to offer them when I interacted with them was gentleness and kindness, because that is what the Spirit has given me. All glory be to God, who gives grace, mercy, kindness and gentleness.
Please pray that these kids will continue to experience God's love in their lives.