No Fear

The reality of us living in the city is becoming "more real" daily.

Kelly's parents came up yesterday to help us get things settled here in the condo. Last night we went to dinner at a place in Northern Kentucky and made our way back north toward home. As we were getting off our exit ramp, there was a guy there who waved us down. I rolled down the window and he said, "Now don't worry because I'm black, I'm not going to kill you or anything."

Interesting way to start a conversation, but at least he had my attention.

He continued on to tell of a need for money. Someone asked, so we gave him some cash. He also said he desperately needed a ride to the top of Gilbert Avenue. So how about this situation: man at the end of an off-ramp, late at night, asking for money and a ride. For some reason, we didn't hesitate and gave him a ride up the street.

I've done stuff like this before. Not because I enjoy picking up hitch-hikers, but because I was asked. The man hopped in the car and thanked us for helping him out. I quickly explained to him that I was a minister. See, I have this theory that no one really wants to harm a minister. He told us, "God bless you," and asked us to pray for the relationship between him and his fiancee. It only took a minute to drive to the top of the hill, we dropped him off and he was gone.

Here's the deal: this isn't going to be our new ministry. We're not going to be able to give money to everyone or drive people anywhere they need to go. But we WERE able to last night. You might not think it the brightest thing to do, but people are still people. If no one helps out, who will? I just refuse to buy into the culture of fear preached in the cities. It's funny, Kelly noted later, that Jesus gave a command that, if your enemy asks something of you, you should go above and beyond that. So why do we constantly give into fear and not help?

I'm not trying to give guilt trips or make us sound like we're all righteous or anything [I've driven right by people in similar situations]. But I had people ask me if I was going to buy a gun now that we live in the city. Not gonna do it. This is our neighborhood now. We're not going to live in fear.

As I say that, I won't lie: I didn't sleep well last night. I was thinking how crazy it was that we picked that guy up. But God's taken care of everything so far; why doubt now?