Monday, June 28, 2004

Black widows, broken noses and a dark curse...

Is this not the fast I have chosen? not turn away from your own flesh and blood.
-Isaiah 58:6-7

Last night in Martin Hall Youth Detention Center, I was talking to a young man after the message I had preached on Zachaeus, the Notorious Sinner. His name was Ricky, a handsome, intelligent and painfully normal 16 year old kid.

He shared with me how he was in jail because he had broken his parole by fighting with some other teen that had threatened his girlfriend. He shared how he had a lot of anger and that it seemed to be something that he couldn't control. I pried a little more into his family history because the more I work in these facilities the more clear it becomes that most of these kids are the fruit of a bad tree.

Sure enough, he was adopted out of a drug home and moved into a home with a loving but weak father and a battle axe of a mother. A woman with a rattlesnake temper. A poisonous tongue and disposition like a blackwidow. A prize fighter fist that was her main weapon of choice after verbal lashings.

His nose had been broken 8 times.

His lips, face and eyebrows were scarred from doors, hands, and whatever else...

He shared how his dad would cower in his hands at the dinner table as she would rant and rave and spew her destructive criticisms, threats and attacks.

As Ricky was sharing, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed at the challenges young people face at the hands of their own flesh and blood today.

We are living in the curse of Malachi 4:5 that states that if the hearts of the fathers do not turn to their children and the children's hearts don't turn to their fathers, than the land will become struck with a curse.

I felt that dark curse last night.

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