This post is an invitation to pray for our youth. Mine and yours. The ones on the streets are ours too. The ones with addictions running deep are ours too.
My daughter and I had a mommy-daughter date on Friday. We drove up the streets not far from our neighborhood looking for the best pizza in town. I’m convinced it’s a hole in the wall named Alamo Pizza down Zarzamora Street.
I rounded the corner, radio on blast, laughing with my daughter about foreign teenage language. The language changes with each generation. It’s hard to keep up.
She noticed the bus stop on our right full of youngsters and older folks alike. All waiting for their only mode of getting somewhere save for their legs.
My daughter asked why so many people were at the bus stop in a tone that was not curious, but assuming and I quickly pointed out her privilege.
Because I have left this city, I know that public modes of transportation are the backbone of many cities. Why do we look down on it here in Texas?
In the middle of my conversation and in the midst of her apology, I quickly swerved my car to the left not knowing if someone was in the other lane. Thank God the car on the left hadn’t quite caught up and I missed the boy on my right stumbling in the middle of the busy street.
My daughter let out a yelp and replied, “Oh my God mom! We almost hit him!”
A few driveways up the road I pulled in to Alamo Pizza. I rushed out of the car to let the police in the parking lot next to ours know what had occurred. They motioned to finish smoking their cigarettes before they would even go toward the scene.
You see, friends, the boy was not just stumbling through the street by his own accord. He was clearly strung out on something. His face was freshly tattooed and because this is a public forum, I’ll refrain from going into detail about what the shapes of the fresh ink were.
We walked in to order our food and sat at our table. My stomach knotted several times before my eyes filled with tears.
“Oh, mom! What’s the matter?” My daughter put her hand on my back.
“We are losing our kids to drugs. Those are our children. We are doing this to them.”
“Mom, we didn’t do that to him…”
“Oh, but we did. Because we are not listening. We are not watching. Things are okay in our family and we forget about others’. We stay quiet. The church doesn’t talk about it. Nobody wants to talk about it and when we do, the police would rather finish smoking their cigarettes. We can’t keep thinking they are a lost cause.”
And those words cut deep because I see it in my family as well. And I have to stop thinking they are a lost cause.
My daughter didn’t know how to respond and I don’t blame her. She was taking it in.
I said a lot, friend. I was and am hurt. My relatives struggle with this too and it’s too close to home to not talk about it. It’s everywhere and no one wants to talk about it. Today, I am.
We ate our pizza, got back into the car and drove to our next destination. Our privilege. It is often a blindfold to the hurting world. Today, I pray for God to remove the lens of privilege after we acknowledge that we wear it.
I thank God for missionaries doing work in the streets combating the spirit of refuse that swallows up our youth. I thank God the boy made it to the bus stop okay.
I don’t know the answer, friend. But, I know how to pray. Will you join me?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Your body is a temple which was purchased at a high price.
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober minded. Your enemy prowls around like a lion ready to devour.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Your temptations and struggles are not uncommon. God will provide your escape.
We all fall short of the glory.
God, our children are in danger. They are being swallowed up by the enemy and being strangled of their goodness. They are seeking an escape that now has a hold of them. I pray over my family and over their families. Show us what to do. Tell us where to go. Use us how you need to with this growing epidemic.
I admit, I do not know the answer and I do not know what to do. Show me. Show us. Enable the church. Give them legs to stand and mouths to articulate more than a Sunday morning sermon. God, help our youth. Be with them and comfort them through their dark moments.
Thank you for your faithfulness, O Lord. Thank you for who you are and how you manifest yourself to us.
In your name I pray. Amen.
Do you have a story to share regarding this matter or is there someone in your life I can pray over?
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