By Greg Johnson
You’re riding your bike home from school. You had to take care of a few things after class, so it was nearly 4:30 before you left. The clouds are getting thicker and it’s starting to get dark, but you know you have plenty of time to get home.
You live in a suburb close to the city. Almost every neighborhood there has a large brick wall that surrounds it. Lately, you’ve noticed a lot more graffiti (spray painting on the brick) than usual. You wonder if some gangs are moving into the area.
As you pass behind one group of homes, you see a guy next to one of the walls. He pulls something out of a bag and then starts spray painting some words. Stopping, you look hard to see what he’s writing. Then the figure turns slightly and his face becomes more visible. He looks familiar!
Getting back on your bike, you ride closer, but slowly. You can’t believe it. It’s one of your good friends! He spots you and starts running, not knowing who you are. You take off fast on your bike and easily catch up to him. You yell to him who you are. He turns around to see, then slows down.
“It’s just you,” he says. “I thought it was someone who would try to narc on me.”
“What are you doing spray painting that wall?” you say. “If you get caught you’ll have to clean it up. Plus, your parents will probably ground you for a month. What are you thinking?”
“Ah, my parents don’t care what I do. Besides, it doesn’t look like they’re going to be together that much longer anyway. My dad left really mad a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t been back. I bet they end up divorced.”
“What does your mom think?”
“All she does is cry and talk on the phone. We haven’t talked much. I think she’s avoiding the subject.
“So, why are you spray painting the walls? Is someone making you do it?”
“They don’t make me do anything. They just say it would be cool to see the gang’s name on the wall.”
“You joined a gang?”
“Not yet, I’m still being looked at.”
Questions to Think On
• Though this situation may never happen to you, what would you do if you had a friend who was involved in gang activities?
• Why do you think this guy wants to join a gang?
• Should you ever tell on your friends to keep them out of worse trouble?
• What could be the drawbacks if you do? What are the potential benefits?
• Who would you talk to for help in making your decision?
What Does God Have to Say?
The kisses of an enemy may be profuse, but faithful are the wounds of a friend.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.