In December, someone from another ministry in Church Hill texted me,
“Did you see who was arrested for multiple robberies in the West End?”
Shock immediately entered my mind, along with disbelief, judgement, indignation, fear, anger and concern. To get the full story, I clicked the news link they'd sent and there it was: a mug shot and a story of the crimes followed.
Reflecting on my reactions, I focused in on my indignation, asking myself, “Why the attitude, Listwella?” What I concluded is that it was so
close to home.
The young man charged in this crime had participated in CHAT since he was in middle school. He actively participated in a mentoring group for several years, he graduated from high school, he has a two-parent household (rare in this community); I even know where he lives.
One would think, with all of his “safety nets” this young man’s trajectory in life would be one that didn't include committing robbery, and jail time.
But if the trajectory of one’s life were based on assumptions, I would never be where I am today.
A few weeks ago I saw that same young man at church. I watched him walk up to be prayed for—prayed for, in fact, by the very man he'd received as a mentor at CHAT.
He had a posture of humility, and between him and the man praying with him there were even tears and hugs. Although I could not hear or know the details of their exchange, I believe the presence of the Holy Spirit was working in them, and also through them in me!
I know CHAT is a “safety net” for many of the youth in Church Hill.
I thank the Lord for this young man whose story is still being written, the relationships he has through CHAT, and God’s grace on his life.