For the past year and a half, I have been listening to an audio book I downloaded for free from Christian audio (you can go to their web site and sign up. Every month they have a free book download). The book I downloaded was 'The Cross and The Switchblade' by David Wilkerson.
This book has been fascinating to me. You can learn a lot of different things from reading it. God shows up and does supernatural acts to confirm to David Wilkerson that He did indeed call him to NYC to minister to 'those boys'.
There is one story in particular that I want to focus on though, as current events happen, this story may be applicable. The background of this story is that God impressed strongly on David Wilkerson's heart to go to NYC and help the boys who were in gangs, to hear the Gospel and be redeemed.
The story begins when Wilkerson found an article in a Life magazine depicting drawings of seven boys, teenagers, who were guilty of killing a 15 year old polio victim in Highbridge Park, NYC. He laughed when he heard the impression to go to NYC to help 'those boys'. " Me? Go to New York? A country preacher barge into a situation he knows less than nothing about?" was his answer. In spite of David Wilkerson's reasoning, the impression continued to stay. So, off he went to NYC, to learn the plight of 'those boys' who were going to go to court very shortly.
Wilkerson and a friend ended up at the court hearing. There were 42 seats available, and 40 people showed up. Wilkerson and Miles Hoover took the last 2 seats.
While they were waiting to get inside, there was a man in front of Wilkerson expressing how he felt about 'those boys'. "Chair's too good for them. Gotta teach them a lesson, young punks. Make an example out of them."The man continued with his assessment of the boys who were being charged with murder, and he also continued to explain the details of the situation to David Wilkerson.
Later on in the conversation, actually during the trial, the man continued to talk. He talked up until the judge pounded on the table with the gavel. Here are the last words of this man as the trial was starting to go underway; "That's the way to handle them. Can't be too careful. God, I hate those boys (although I am sure he was not addressing God necessarily, but using God's name as an expression). Here is the crux of this article. Listen carefully to David Wilkerson's response to this man. "God seems to be the only One who doesn't", said Wilkerson.
What? God loves those boys? Is that fair? What about Michael Farmer and his family? Justice certainly doesn't seem to play out here if God really loves those boys. Or does it?
Here's how the crime played out; A group of boys were part of a gang called The Dragons. Gangsters were made up mainly of teenage boys who came from homes where they were kicked out of. They sensed the animosity from their families and were full of rage. They were looking for trouble one day and killed 15 year old Michael Farmer. They stabbed him in the back 7 times, beat him in the head with a garrison belt, and before they ran away, they said, "We messed him good" while wiping the blood through their hair.
Do you think David Wilkerson was really called by God to 'help those boys' in NYC? Or do you think he was just reacting to some internal emotion he felt while looking at the pictures of those boys? What kind of justice would you dole out to those 7 boys who killed Michael Farmer? Do you think God could or should offer forgiveness of sins to those boys? Feel free to comment but show kindness to those who disagree with you.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article.