We have many businesses being birthed out of the Hope Center. It is interesting to work in such a unique business environment. One minute you’re writing code or talking to an insurance agent, the next minute your praying over someone who needs a touch from the Lord. We have a few regulars that typically show up between 3:00 and 4:00 when school is out. Sometimes it’s hard to pull away from work to engage with them, but I have to constantly remind myself: THEY are why we are here.
Today one of those young persons came in after school per usual, and as I typically do I asked how their day was. The response was unusual, but sadly not entirely unique:
K: “It was good…until I found out that my cousin died this morning.”
Me: “Wow, I’m sorry. Do you know what happened?”
K: “He got shot walking to Central [High School]. He took one in the arm and then they gotem in the chest.”
Me: “I’m so sorry.”
K: “I’m alright. I thought his sister was about to pass out in school though. We go to school together. I need to check on her.”
Me: “But he went to Central. Do they not live together then?”
K: “Nah, he stays with his stepdad.”
I think the worst part of this conversation was the tone in which it was all said. It was as if they didn’t like what was served for lunch or maybe got a bad grade on a test. Slightly upset, but just another bad day. This one in particular has a 17 year old sibling that has just spent 2 years locked up, mom was locked up for a little while a few years back. There’s been domestic abuse in the family and I don’t believe dad is in the picture at all. One time a few years back I remember bringing a younger sister home late one night. She was asleep in my arms so I brought her in to put her in bed. I was told to lay her on the couch where another younger sibling was already fast asleep. This is where they slept every night together.
There is another world in our city that most of us choose to ignore. I wish I could say it’s ignorance, and in some cases it may be, but the truth is most of us choose not to look. After all, we’ve got enough of our own problems. What can I do about it anyways?