Camden

“I will shoot them,” said Christian holding a plastic play gun.  “I will kill them.”

We were playing a game in recreation, and he pulled it out of his pocket when things did not go the way he wanted them to go.

Christian is seven years old. 

His dad was murdered on the unforgiving streets of Camden.

And so today I think about Christian.  I think about the rage he has, about the struggles he will face in his future, and that if he graduates from high school it will be a miracle from God himself.  And that should not be a miracle. 

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it would be beautiful to watch Christian grow up and become a member of society.  To most people in suburban America growing up and becoming a member of society is taken for granted.

“I can see how he would have so much rage,” my teammate Nick said.  “It seems like Camden creates it.” 

“Yeah,” I answered.  “It all seems so big.”

Yes.  Big.  I wonder if people realize that Camden is not the only place.  That there is 35,000 homeless people in San Francisco.  I wonder if people know that there are cities like this all over the United States.  I wonder if they would do anything about it. 

Last night we heard Tony Campolo, world famous for his Christian speaking and controversial subjects, suggested a church in Ocean City owed it to these kids to support them because Jesus Christ has chosen to give them so much.

“You owe it to these kids, just like I owe the people who helped my parents as Italian immigrants,” that is how Tony finished his sermon. 

And that is how I finish my thoughts. 

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