Two teens on two Tuesdays.
They made opposite decisions.
They experienced different outcomes.
A feared gang leader sauntered into the room.
He looked nervous, but none of the teens in the room saw it.
They saw “him.”
TreeHouse is an incredibly safe place.
Suddenly, for them, it felt unsafe.
I knew the reaction.
I didn’t know him.
He was required to be there.
He stayed ten minutes and left.
I followed, hoping we could have a conversation another day.
He didn’t stop.
He didn’t speak.
I never saw him again.
Sadly, he was killed in a gang-related incident within a year.
The biggest bully at school.
He didn’t run.
He didn’t hide.
He didn’t say much, at first.
He’d talk about girls and conquests.
He’d make superficial comments.
He’d offer violence-based advice.
One day he opened up.
He spoke about protecting his reputation.
He spoke about his loneliness.
He spoke about his demanding mom.
He spoke about his mom who used to “beat the $+!^” out of him.
He spoke about being scared.
He crumpled onto the floor.
Then AGAINST THE ODDS the bully got…
He wasn’t just a bully, he was a blessed and broken teen.
Just like the rest.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. 1
1 – Matthew 5:4, NIV