The poem was heart wrenching, it really struck a chord.
It talks about a young man’s struggle, his pain with life and how he finally gives in and ends it all. Then I read the name that follows the RIP, the tears stream down my face.
I know this young man. It is more than one of the many faces that started me down the path that I am on. He is the first one.
Years ago a step of faith brought us together and we walked a rough road together. His shell cracked and he shared some of his pain. This is how I learned to love a street youth. I learned things that textbooks will never teach you. I learned that if you let Jesus take the helm, wonderful and amazing things can happen.
Richard, not his real name, changed my life.
I look at street youth differently because of him. I will not condemn any of them because of him. I will not cross the street to avoid them because of him. In fact, I will purposely cross the street to talk to them. Thank you Richard for the changes you helped forge in this old man’s life. You had a greater impact on mine than I think I had on yours. You forced me to stretch my boundaries well beyond anything that I was comfortable with and many others have reaped the benefits and will continue to do so.
The tears will continue to flow and I am not ashamed of them, I miss you brother. I pray you are in a better place and that you are no longer hurting.
– Ken B, Volunteer