You don’t see this everyday driving in your car: four teenagers kicking and punching one lone kid as he lies helpless on the side of the road. Without thinking, I hung a right hand turn from the far left lane into the heat of the action…
I was ready to jump in –though I’m not a fighter and I would probably have gotten my butt whupped– still, I turned into the driveway where the beating was taking place and trusted Jesus. Some guy in a big truck also veered in. And a mini-Arnold Schwarzenegger hulked onto the scene as well. The gang of four hit the road as we rushed to the bloody teen to see how he was doing.
“You all right?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said as blood dripped from a big inflated bloody lip onto his oversized white T-shirt.
I helped him up and we walked over to a wall and sat down. “What happened? What did you do?”
“Nothin’. Wrong hood,” he answered.
“You were just walking and they jumped you because you are from a different hood?”
“Yeah.” He hung his head down, ashamed.
“Do you know those guys?”
“Do you think this will happen again?”
“No.” He pointed to a bus stop about a block away. “That’s them over there.” The Schwarzenegger guy took off after them. The guy in the big truck drove away.
I was concerned and a little shocked that this type of thing actually happens. You see this in movies, but rarely up close. It seems so animalistic, so inhuman. Callous. I took out my cell phone. “Do want me to call the police?”
“No. It will only make it worse.” We sat together silently for a few moments.
Now was as good a time as any to share some good news. “Do you know about Jesus? Have you ever thought about where you would go when you die?” He shook his head. “Life is pretty brutal down here, but it can be lot worse if you don’t know Him.”
Schwarzenegger came back. He couldn’t find the guys and gave up.
“Let me encourage you to give your life to Jesus. He cares about you and he’ll be with you. I can’t guarantee that this type of thing won’t happen again, but He’ll be right there for you; He’ll change your life.” My words sure seemed kind of hollow.
I looked down the block and saw that the thugs were at a different bus stop across the street, staring back at us. Maybe I should go down there and give them the gospel. Maybe not. I sat awhile longer, gave the kid my card and asked him to call me. He nodded.
A friend of the teen suddenly ran up and sat down next to us. “Man, what happened? I was walking next to you and I looked over and you were gone.” Nice try. This guy was yella.
I said good-bye and noticed that Schwarzenegger was unloading a truck, getting ready to
move into the apartments where this poor guy just got beat up in the driveway. I waved to him and shouted, “Welcome to the neighborhood!”
What would you have done? What would you have said? How could I have done this better?
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