Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another. MARK 9:50
I still remember hearing about the 1995 murder of three children in their Little Rock home. Riley Noel and three accomplices wheeled into the driveway of Mary Hussian's house that night, high on drugs. They were certain that either Mary or one of her kids had been involved in a recent drive-by shooting that had taken the life of Noel's brother.
Riley Noel ordered the three children in the home—ages 10, 12 and 17—to lie down on the living-room floor, where he shot them execution style. Their mother escaped after a struggle. But she spoke these chilling words at a news conference soon after the tragic event: "I stand here with the blood of my children still under my fingernails. My kids were all I had. I plead with the youth today—don't send another woman to bed crying the way I'm going to cry tonight!"
Unfortunately, Barbara and I can't write this book fast enough to keep up with the latest news story out of another major city, or even a secluded farmland, about a young person who has gunned down even more of our nation's children. But no matter what the papers are reporting as you're reading this today, I urge you to put an end to your fear and apathy.
I urge you to pray, as 600 or so of us did in a city-wide prayer service soon after the Hussian children's deaths, confessing our sins and committing to action.
I urge you to confront immorality when you witness it within your home or in public settings.
I urge you not to be ashamed to call others to godly accountability, from governmental leaders to pastors to the people you work and associate with.
And I urge you to demand righteousness of yourself, because societal change always begins with one person, one home, one man or woman, one boy or girl, willing to make a difference.
Be specific: What could you, your church or your neighborhood do to reclaim this nation for righteousness?
Pray for the safety of our children, the courage of our people and the mercy of our God.