This is a place to share the bright spots in our world. If you have a bright spot to share, please do. I'm glad you're here! I hope your day is filled with extravagantly abundant blessings that exceed your imagination.
Bright Spots can grow in dark places.
The Bright Spot Report is a place for success stories
as well as a place for tips on how to create Bright Spots.
If you have a Bright Spot Story, please share it with us,
so we can create a world with more Bright Spots.
Friday, March 7, 2014
My Friend was Killed by a Gang
My friend was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He always had a kind word for everybody. When someone needed help, he was the first one to offer a helping hand. He could change the atmosphere of a whole neighborhood by his actions. That was the problem.
There was a gang in the neighborhood who spent their time wreaking havoc in an otherwise peaceful community. They sold drugs, stole things, intimidated people and sometimes killed folks who didn't share their way of life. My friends actions were hurting their business. He was a walking billboard for a kinder, gentler way of life. He was like "walking truth" and taught people how to be good neighbors. My friend was full of joy and peace, he seemed to love everybody. That type of belief system - love, joy, peace, kindness and gentleness became a threat to the gangs way of life. So they threatened my friend.
At first the gang just verbally abused my friend. They bullied and mocked him. They thought he'd stop if they belittled him, perhaps if they embarrassed him he'd disappear. When that didn't work, they threatened him physically. Their threats had no power over him. In fact it seemed to enlarge the love inside him. More people took on a new way of life because of the way he treated them. This infuriated the gang . Their drug business was sagging. Guys and girls were leaving the gang and youngsters stopped looking up to them. The gang leaders got together and conceived a plan to silence him for good.
They waited until they knew my friend would be alone and then they ambushed him. Their plan was to make him suffer before they killed him. They tried to tell people that he was a fake so they could justify their actions. They beat him badly, they pretty much did everything they could to inflict pain on his body. They left him on a street corner with the life oozing out of his body. My friend eventually did die, but before he died he made one last statement that would change me forever.
Several of us found him on that street corner. Somebody ran and told his parents. There wasn't anything we could do to save him, the gang had made sure that he'd die. With his last breath he asked his Dad to forgive the gang. He said they didn't really know what they were doing. The words of my friend asking his Dad to forgive the gang now live in my heart. I know I have to forgive others and they sometimes have to forgive me. I know I have to try and stay away from the temptations to hurt people because they have hurt me. The truth is: hurt starts somewhere and continues until someone has courage like my friend did. Hurt keeps infecting folks who reject the courage to stop it.
Our neighborhood is different now. People tell stories about my friend. He seems to live on through their actions. Some folks try and live lives with the same kind character that he had. There was one guy I know who died recently. His life had some ups and downs, some bads and some goods. When he was just a little kid his mom would buy him new clothes to go to school. When he came home, his mom noticed that he was wearing old shoes. She asked him where his brand new shoes were and he replied: "Somebody else needed them Ma, so I gave them to him." He had a big heart that had a big hurt for other people. His life wasn't perfect because life isn't perfect this side of heaven. A hurting person killed him. Now I know another truth, I can create some heaven here on earth by giving shoes away, by forgiving folks who hurt me, because now I know that somebody hurt them first. Yeah, I think I'll put my heart in my shoes and give it away! Forgiveness - shoe it forward!
If you didn't recognize my friends, the first guy was Jesus. The guy who gave his shoes away was DeMario, aka "Spazz" or "Spizzy." Jesus never did anything wrong. Spazz was like you and me - we've all made mistakes and failed to be like Jesus. I remember times when DeMario did the things that Jesus would do. That's how I will keep remembering him. I will not go out and hurt somebody because I'm mad that somebody hurt him. That would make me just another hurting person who keeps hurting other people. I'm asking God for the courage to be different, the courage to give the hurt to Jesus because he already took all the hurt on his own back. He's got my back.
Thanks for your time. Go do something nice for somebody.