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He pulled out the gun for the world to see. Well at least his enemies.

But I saw it too. Right there in his hand ready to shoot.

It didn’t matter who was around in his eyes. He had a reputation to protect. He had to save face.

But there were a lot of people around. A high school graduation had just let out. There were hundreds.

There were Shaquil and D’Marcus. Right next to this dude. Club Christ guys just waiting for a friend.

But it could have been their end. “A bullet has no friend” one of them said. It was true. We were targets just then.

He ended up putting the gun back in his pants. He walked away with his buddies in tow. He probably wanted to finish this somewhere else.

But it wasn’t finished for me. I was left with questions.

Is this the Wild West? Who does that?

I mean I played with guns as a boy but would I ever put one in my pocket to pull out when I got ticked off? That doesn’t sound right.

But this is what surrounds our city. A people gone wild. Unrestricted. Unconstrained by moral law.

Then there are those in the crossfire. There are also those that think, “If only I had a gun. Then I would be safe. Then I would be strong.”

I guess that is why Club Christ is here. To show young men like the one with the gun that they can be safe. They can be strong.

But not with a piece, a nine, or a glock. They’ve got to surrender first. Lay down their pre-conceived ideas about right and wrong. Pick up a Bible and swear to follow a God that shows them what happens on the other end of this violence.

When evil meets innocence. When murderous men get their way. Only to be defeated by a resurrection. Death overcome by life.

Because Jesus demonstrates restraint. He shows them the strength it takes to turn the other cheek. He shows them acceptance. Unlike any gang, clique or crew they will ever rep. He gives them peace.

He can give them a reason to put the weapons away. No one has to die that way. Not today. Not on my block.

For I will forever say like I did that day, “Put the gun away in Jesus name.”