For six years we've watched, we've prayed, we've offered relationship, but only been able to do so from a distance. A young man, hardened by the street, wounded and angry. A dangerous mix of sorrow and rage left glass glittering in his wake, and empty spaces left in place of others' things. He walked down the street, cloaked in dangerous colors, with a street-wise swagger in his step, falling into step with men only too happy to lead him toward destruction. We've seen him disappear for months, even years, moving where he could find shelter only to later reappear, still hardened and distrustful.
Now, at eighteen, all of his friends are in jail. We have prayed he would not join them, or worse. He is not in jail, but he is in bondage to the street. For six years he has stayed on our hearts and minds, but his hardened exterior kept anything more than a smile and hello at bay.
Until, I drove up to our house one afternoon this week and saw him sitting on our porch with Andrew eating cookies on a paper towel plate, his legs relaxed down the stairs, giving the impression of a young child too small for his chair. I tried not to let the shock and excitement register on my face as I carried our groceries past them and into the house.
For about thirty minutes this young man asked Andrew about life after death, shared how lonely he was because all of his friends are in jail. He was vulnerable and open and Andrew took the opportunity to share the Gospel with him. Andrew promised to pray for him every day.
And so, we continue to pray. We know what God can do. He can take moments of vulnerability in guarded hearts and use them to transform lives to the glory of His name. We know this young man can become a new man in the Lord, healed and whole and walking a path of life. God is the healer of broken souls; pray with us.