For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Someone needs to tell these kids. They’re all gonna die if they keep living like this…
“Medic-7,” the station loudspeaker announced. “Got one shot!”
I grabbed my stethoscope and followed my partner to the ambulance wondering what we would find when we arrived on the scene this time. Another gang member? Another kid? I had learned to expect almost anything. Our streets had become a ghetto. A cesspool of drugs and crime.
“A teenaged male shot once in the head,” the dispatcher continued. “Police officer on the scene requesting Code-3 response. Code-3.”
“10-4,” my partner responded jumping behind the wheel and keying the mike. “Medic-7 en route.”
I climbed into the passenger seat and buckled up. I grabbed a pair of latex gloves and pulled one on each hand as my partner pulled into traffic. I tried to calm myself as he hurried to the scene. Relax. You’ve been a medic for a long time. You’ve seen this before. But as we pulled onto
Hopkins Street I felt my stomach tighten. My palms began to sweat. There’s just something unsettling about a young man with a bullet hole in the side of his head, his life blood spilling out all over the ground and a dangerous crowd pressing in on you demanding you get to work.
There was nothing we could do of course. But for the sake of our own skins and the fact that we were standing on their turf and outnumbered about a hundred to one, we made a good show of it. We loaded him up and moved to the truck assuring the angry crowd we would do our best to save him. Once clear of the scene, however, my partner killed the lights and sirens and slowed down to normal traffic. I stared into the victim’s lifeless eyes trying to guess his age. Eighteen years old, maybe? Nineteen? Oh, Lord, what a waste.
“Duke ER,” I said keying the radio mike. “I’m sorry but we’re bringing you a corpse. Another gang member got shot. There’s nothing we can do.”
For that young man, no, there was nothing we could do. But it’s not too late to help the others, the kids still out there on our streets. It’s time for a revival. Time to take Christ’s message of hope to the broken world of our inner cities.
Have you witnessed the hopelessness in our society? The violence and pain? Are you doing anything about it?
Let’s take our streets captive for Jesus. Take the gospel out there and see what God can do. For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, for these young people, and indeed, for the entire world.
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What can you do to help a young person come to Christ?
by Pat Patterson
I am a paramedic, an educator, a family man, and an adventurer. I love life, and live to go fast. I used to race motorcycles, now I ride a mountain bike. I have sailed since I was nine, taken a million pictures, studied many topics, and bandaged a lot of people. I write about what I know. So if my stories are gritty, a little fast, colorful and full of adventure, it’s because I’ve been there, on the water, in the woods, and on the street, with dying people in my arms, and that has left a deep impression on my heart.