The Last Kid I Ever Expected

March 27, 2024


Nate was the last kid I ever expected to see that morning. But there he was running down the hallway of his middle school calling out to me “Hey Mister.” As I turned I immediately recognized him as a young man I had connected with at the Juvenile Detention Center. He was always very engaging and conversational when we were together at the Center. But as I had sometimes experienced, some youth will give you the time of day when they are at the Center but seem to care less about talking when they get back to school and real life. Not Nate, he ran to say hello. That early morning Nate’s first words were, “Do you remember me?” He seemed shocked that I knew his name and where we had connected. I said I was pleasantly surprised to see him, though that was not entirely true. I knew Nate’s crime. I was downright shocked to see him released! I seriously doubted I would ever see him again in a school setting. But there he was… with a smile on his face.

On that early Friday morning, I was at Nate’s school to meet with a room full of his peers. Students who had indicated a desire to have a relationship with Jesus. Pulled between needing to get to the group and re-connecting with Nate I had to make a quick decision. Should I stay or go? So I did both. I invited Nate to join us. He, of course, had no idea what was in store for him. As he sat to the side of the room that morning we spoke to the other students for a few minutes about their decision to follow Christ. We encouraged them, prayed for them and then sent them on their way. I exited the room with Nate by my side. What would he be thinking? “That was cool,” was Nate’s response. I invited Nate to the next week’s Campus Life club meeting. I told him that not every week had deep spiritual content. We would have some fun and talk about life. And I told him I thought he would enjoy it. He said he would be there. And… he was.

Nate needs Jesus. That’s as simple as I can put it. Who will give him the time? Who will clearly point him towards Christ and all He has to offer? Who will walk with Nate through the ups and downs of life, bad decisions and all, and not give up? The answer is YOU!

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