I’ve been doing a lot of reading. I’ve come to terms with the fact that in order to grow spiritually, seeking God personally in books and experiences is a major factor and as I love to read, I have gladly taken that up. Here’s another book review. Run Baby Run is a book that has influenced the way I look at God’s power. It is the story of one of the youths reached out to by the pastor, David Wilkerson as narrated in the book The Cross and the Switchblade that I have already written about here: http://bit.ly/2mT2VdR
This is one of my friends’ review on Run Baby Run and will help you understand the story more. Obviously it’s best to read the whole book because the plot line does not explain the experiences fully:
Emerging from Puerto Rico into New York at the age of 15, all alone and with a very muddled childhood, Nicky Cruz is about to face a series of perplexing events that would change his life forever. From issues at school to trouble with gangs, Nicky ends up joining the Mau-Maus – New York’s toughest gang – where he is introduced to a life of alcohol, sexuality, drugs and crime and his level of loneliness is only escalated.
Shortly after becoming the gang’s leader, he meets a Christian preacher – David Wilkerson – who tells him nothing more than the simple phrase “Jesus loves you.” It is thanks to this pastor that slowly, yet effectively, Nicky comes to experience God where he is, that is, in the darkest of pits. This goes to show that every single soul is urgent and significant to God.
~ Michael Bianco
If it wasn’t for Dave’s courage and power of Jesus in him, teenagers like Nicky would have never been reached out to. Most pastors and Christians are afraid of dealing with youths and teenagers in gangs, those involved in crime and drugs, murder and theft. This story narrates Nicky’s background, family history and the transformation that only Jesus could make possible. Beneath the pride and bloodthirsty appearance, the lonely and frightened side of Nicky was revealed in a form of an inward running defense mechanism.
Nicky Cruz: “You come near me and I’ll kill you!”
David Wilkerson: “You could kill me, Nicky. You could cut me in a thousand pieces and lay them out on the street. But every piece would cry out, Jesus loves you. And you’ll never be able to run from that.“
There is great emphasis on 2 Corinthians 5:17 throughout the whole book:
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!“
The running that Nicky was so used to was transformed into running from gang member to another, proclaiming the love of Jesus Christ. The outreach program that Dave Wilkerson created, Teen Challenge reached out to the lonely, the rejected and the insecure. He changed people’s lives – people like Nicky who later attended Bible school, married the woman who would support him in his faith and with God’s power, created another outreach program.
The main idea is that when we meet Jesus, we become new. When we accept Jesus into our life, our old life is transformed into one full of love and a burning desire to tell others of Jesus’ love. Simply sharing Jesus’ message of love to others gives us and the people we meet a continuous opportunity to become new, to become disciples, to be free from the bondage of sin. However, most of the time people are passive in their faith and do not actually mention God – to the contrary being almost ashamed that they believe! Why are we so afraid to be direct in our evangelisation? Why are we so afraid to get our hands dirty? Have a look at Nicky and his wife, Gloria’s conversation:
Nicky: “We are only scratching the surface with our ministry.”
Gloria: “But Nicky, it’s not just your task. It’s the task of all Christians – everywhere.”
And further on:
Gloria: “Those church people want to help but they want someone else to do it for them. They fuss now if a drunk interrupts a worship service…..Those people don’t want to get their hands dirty. They rebel against having their carpets stained with dirt from bare feet.”
Nicky: “You’re right, of course. I keep wondering what Jesus would do. Would He get His hands dirty?”
Nicky: “I’m not running anymore. I just want to be where the action is.”
Gloria: “I know, and that’s what I want for you. But you may have to go it alone. You know that, don’t you?”
Nicky: “Not alone. I’ll be walking in Jesus’ turf.”
I encourage you to read this book if you want to experience the power of God’s grace, timing and power. Let us be present witnesses, those who speak to people about Jesus as if we are speaking about a lover. After all, God loves us more than we could ever humanly understand. Knowing that He loves us should be encouragement enough to let others know that He can love them too. Let’s be where the action is. Let’s let God use us in any circumstance to tell people of His love for them.
Stay rad & God bless you.
I’m praying for you,