It was a warm, sunny day and some fellow students and I decided to step out in faith and pray for people in one of the tougher neighborhoods in our city. We approached a group of people talking on the street and began to chat, telling them we were there to help them experience the love of Jesus. One burly, tattooed man from a well-known biker group became agitated and stormed off, shouting, “Get outta here! There is no such thing as Jesus!” The man had a reputation for being dangerous so the other neighbors encouraged us to leave. Strangely, we felt absolutely no fear as we stayed and prayed for others near him.
A few minutes later the agitated man called us over. Tears streamed down his face. He apologized for his harsh words. One of my classmates felt God revealed to him some facts about the man’s childhood. He told the man God had shown him the countless beatings he endured as a child from his father and his father’s friends and understood the life of violence he now lived was all he knew. In shock, the man asked, “How did you know all those things about me?” We told him God loves him and knows everything about him. The man started to become emotional but shook himself out of it. He told us he was a murderer and could slit our throats as he had done to six other people. But even this confession didn’t scare us away.
He could not understand why we weren’t afraid. We explained there’s no fear in true love. When he told us he was angry with God I explained, “The only way to pick a bone with somebody is to let them in.” Strangely enough, the man agreed and prayed with me to invite Jesus into his life. Afterwards he cried, “Guys! I believe in Jesus!”
The salvation of this man was significant of what God wants to do even in the ‘darkest’ places. We believe God is going to use this man to be a father of love in his neighborhood instead of fear and violence. He now wants to partner with the church to help ex-convicts like himself reintegrate back into society!