“I knew you looked familiar!” said Leo. “I don’t think I recognize you,” said Pablo and stirring at Leo in dismay. “Yes, you do know me,” said Leo, “we lived in the same neighborhood back in the day. Went to the same elementary school, played and joked together. Do you remember?” Pablo sought an escape from Leo due to discomfort. “You’re Pablo Dominguez! I am Leonardo, but people called me Leo, “Oh, yeah! Now I remember you” Said Pablo. “We used to be homeboys back in the day!” Leo rebutted, “I know it had been a long time and a lot had happened since we last saw.” “So what’s up man?” said Pablo. You look like the CEO of some big corporation or something.” Grinned, Leo said, “Yeah thanks man. I had to move out of that crazy hood. It was crazy them days, downright rough. Hardly any life. Everywhere I went it felt like death surrounded me with those like Satan’s rejects. I didn’t want to be there anymore. I needed to do something different with my life, cuz nothing was happening down there, at least not for me.” He then asked, “So Pablo, how’s your family? Do you have a wife or any kids?” Solemnly, Pablo said, “My wife left me and I don’t have any kids. I hung out with wrong crowd, drugging, womanizing, and all kinds of crazy stuff, got locked up and did some jail time, so she left.” Continuing Pablo said, “Hey, I’ve known for a long time that I needed to do something with my life, could you give me advice on how you escaped the hood man, I would greatly appreciate it.” He exhaled “Yes! I can definitely direct you to the one who helped me!” He smiled knowingly and said, “In fact, I’m sure he’s been talking to you but you just haven’t paid him any attention. Do you know who I’m talking about?” Pablo’s look of confusion showed he didn’t know who Leo was talking about. Leo said, “I’m sure if I mention his name you’d know. He’s the only one who can turn your life around and restore you back to whole again. There’s absolutely nothing impossible with Jesus! Pablo, let me ask, do you feel like an empty shell? Just existing? You can be restored! But you must remember it won’t be an overnight, drive through, process. You must begin somewhere. Right now, where you are, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, invite Him into your life, and let Him be the Lord of your life from this day forward!”

Was Pablo initially avoiding Leo or was Leo genuinely concerned for his friend Pablo he hadn’t seen in a long time? How would you have dealt with Pablo? Comments!

Christian O. Nwakaihe, M-Div.

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