Last night about 9p we were startled by a commotion outside in our backyard.  Cheryl was watching “America’s Got Talent” while I was upstairs reading.  Suddenly there’s a bunch of yelling and screaming and stuff that sounded like a scuffle, and Cheryl’s yelling and the woman next door is yelling, and I’m thinking “Get my gun?”  Well, not yet.  Always best to at least try to find out what’s going on before jumping to conclusions and trying to be a “hero.”

It’s a very dangerous thing to rush into an unknown situation with a gun I think.  So, I went downstairs and Cheryl is yelling “It’s Ronnette!” (our neighbor) and I can hear it, but Cheryl has the back door open and she’s looking outside to try and figure out what’s happening, and I realized something is happening in _our_ yard.  So, I get her to close the door, and go upstairs with me so we can get some idea what is happening.  By now, the commotion has moved to the front yard.

The first thing I want to do is get my wife away from the danger and get her to calm down.  So, we open the upstairs window, and there’s a bunch of Police Officers down there and we ask what’s going on.  They said somebody had run from them and hid in our backyard.  Wonderful I think.

So, I go down there now, and talk to them.  Turns out, there were a bunch of kids in the park (our backyard is to the green belt that leads to the park about 300′ away) and they were drinking and using drugs apparently and somebody had called the Police and reported them.  The Police got there, and this young man (about 15 or so) ran and jumped the fence into our yard.  The Police asked if I knew him, never seen him before.  He definitely had no permission to be in our yard.  The kid was obviously intoxicated, was not “sitting still” on the sidewalk, and was not obeying the Police Officers very well.  He was already handcuffed and kept repeating “Sorry! I’m sorry!”  But, it’s like, why did you run then kid?  Why did you hop the fence into somebody’s yard at 9p at night?

I went out and walked the green belt this morning, and sure enough found a baggie with the remnants of some Marijuana in it.  There’s probably another bag or so in my yard, unless the Police searched already and found those.  It’s usual behavior for an addict when arrested to empty their pockets.  I’ll search my yard real well again.  The kid’s friends were dumb enough to try and come up and see him after he was hand-cuffed to which the Police told them “You wanna join the party?  No?  Then GO HOME!”

As far as I know, all parks in the city are closed at dusk.  We’ve had quite a bit of graffiti lately, as well as broken bottles, break-ins, Cheryl’s car was broken into recently.  A neighbor down the street has had his house broken into 3 times lately!  Another with an Electrical Contracting business had his truck broken into and his tools scattered all over the place.  I found a woman’s purse half buried in some rocks in that very same park where the Police confronted these kids.  Is it just summertime?  Or is this a sign of escalating youth crime that signals a neighborhood going downhill?

We like our neighborhood very much.  We have wonderful neighbors.  Some of the houses have foreclosed, as in any city in America by now, and we have some that appear rundown, but overall it’s a very good neighborhood.  Our house could use some paint by the way.  But, it’s very difficult to read.  This is the most crime I can remember in this neighborhood in the 10 years I’ve been here.  It’s very sad to see youth out of control with no moral direction in their lives, doing drugs, drinking, wasting their youth on temporal pleasures.

I have asked myself the question:  “What can I do for these kids?”  What can we do as a community?  I know what our President’s answer is:  “Public funded healthcare that pays for abortion on demand.”  If the streets are overcrowded, let’s just have a few more abortions to prevent some of these unwanted kids.  I ask you:  “Is that a solution?”  It makes me want to puke that the government wants to use my tax dollars to kill unborn babies.  They’ll use their rhetoric, and fallacious logic, and sound bites to make it all sound so neat and tidy, like it will clear up all the parks and streets of youth and violence and drugs and such.  But, it won’t.

Only you and I, with Jesus’ love can do that.

Kids, I’m praying for you.  I hope we get some real leadership in this country that can help young people like you find a direction in life that doesn’t include wasting your lives on drugs, alcohol, violence, crime and such.  It leads only to the pit kids.  I was there myself when I was young.  Lord Jesus – help them!  Help us help them!


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