“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
It all started when Lanell Armstrong and a friend started showing up at an elementary school playground on Saturday mornings offering Kool-Aid and store-bought cookies to a bunch of fourth and fifth grade boys who regularly gathered there to play pick-up basketball. The school was in a bad neighborhood plagued with drugs, violence, and gang activities. As Lanell was well aware, fifth grade boys are the exact age group gang leaders target to lure them into the gang life, so she thought that by offering them free Kool-Aid and cheap cookies she might be able to engage them enough to point their lives in a different direction. Thus was the beginning of Crossfire Ministries from which, over the years, countless lives have been transformed, many saved before they succumbed to gang life, others rescued from it years later, some from jail or prison, for Lanell never gives up on anyone – ever. Today she’s like a go-to mom – more of a Mother Teresa, actually – who is always there for the kids in that neighborhood.
People like Lanell, extraordinary as her good works may be, tend to fly beneath the radar. (I know her only because a mutual friend introduced us several years ago.) But it is because she and thousands of others like her who are impacting the world in amazing ways are invisible to most of us, we tend to place our lot on the high profile – the rich and powerful political class – to set our broken world aright.
This should come as no great surprise, for such has been the case throughout history. Two thousand years ago people had anticipated a Messiah who would come charging in on a white horse and overthrow the corrupt powers-that-be. Instead, we got a boots-on-the-ground guy named Jesus from the obscure village of Nazareth who traveled about the countryside and villages – mostly under the radar – feeding, healing, and teaching. Yet, who has ever done more to set this broken world aright than He?
As we are in the midst of a highly charged political season, I for one plan to do my part to stay engaged. But when it comes to setting the world aright, I place my lot on Jesus of Nazareth, through the example of people like Lanell. So, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”