A Story from the Streets
Entrapped between two fears . . .
I always enjoy spending time in the various ministries that go out from London Youth for Christ. One of those is Streetlighth, a mobile youth centre that sets up downtown and allows us to come alongside several hundred at-risk youth. While our Streetlight Director is on leave, I have the privilege of leading out on the Tuesday evenings of this exciting outreach. I wanted to share with you one of the special moments from last night.
As we were closing down for the night, a troubled youth began to open up about his extreme frustrations with life and wasn’t sure it was worth it. The story he was telling himself was that he was either in jail or setting himself up to go to jail. There was never a good life in between worth living. He shared how several agencies were telling him to seek medical help as he needed to get support for his mental health, but he had refused. He was afraid and didn’t want to trust those who might tell him that he needed to take medication. Yet he knew he was going into a dark space again and was equally afraid. He was entrapped between two fears. The fear of the known and the fear of the unknown. (How many of us can relate to that?)
Then a sacred moment emerged. One of the Streetlight youth, who has been helping me on Tuesdays, spoke out, “I know what you’re thinking, man. I was there two years ago. I got the help I needed and I’m alive today. Between the doctor’s help and all the love and support YFC has given me, my life got saved. I see purpose now. I’m even working there.” Then a long pause occurred. It almost seemed that no words could follow. And then the young man who was caught in his fears looked up with a growing smile on his face and asked, “Would you guys help me too?” WOW!!! Seeing that visual moment from despair to hope emerge never fails to amaze me.
Phone numbers were exchanged, an initial action plan to get help was created and we were on our way home.
While driving the volunteer youth home, he looked over to me and said “That was really cool. My story was able to help him and give him some hope. I am really starting to see God at work in my life. Maybe I’ll become a motivational speaker!” If you knew this young man, you would have tears filling your eyes as I currently have while I type this. He was lost in a dark space himself. Attempted many times to end his own life. Today he knows he is loved and has exponential potential because there is a God who created him, loves him and has a plan for his life. This same God brought a large family to him through YFC that loves him, encourages him, corrects him, celebrates him and will always have his best interests at heart.
So two things to encourage you today. First, thank you for your partnership and allowing us to bring hope to the youth of this city. Second, if you are entrapped between two fears, know that there is hope. Share with someone you trust and take the next step. That’s a lesson from the streets . . .
God bless you in your day!