The Cross and the Switchblade: carrying a mantle

2/24/2012 05:12:00 AM sendtheroths 1 Comments

My (Amethyst) family lived in a jungle once. That jungle was made of concrete.

Gangs roamed the streets, protecting their turf. Heroin addicts would scream mercilessly in the night when cops busted the dealers, thus leaving the drugs scarce. The cries were shofars indicating that these drug addicts were completely dependent on Satan himself.

“Being a heroin addict is like living in a small, dark room trying to reach for a black cat that’s not even there,” said Pastor Pete Rios, a recovered addict and former mentor for my Mom and Dad. 

That was the life they lived. Not me. They….

Knowing, about, yet not really knowing my family’s deep dark secrets. I have great appreciation for ministries like Teen Challenge that helped them to get a new shot at life. I would sometimes wonder why I never had the opportunity to work with this ministry like my parents once did.

Was my connection just that Dad would be rehabilitated so that I would have a better life, or life at all ? The idea seemed incomplete.

The Prophecy
Late last year, Beverly Lorenz, the pastor’s wife at Encounter House of Prayer stood at the pulpit and called me out. Unbeknownst of much of my family background and the core values of Send the Roths, she declared this word over me in front of the entire church:

“The mantle of David Wilkerson has fallen into your family—and it is upon you.”

Seeing the surprised and confused look over my face, she explained that Wilkerson spearheaded the concrete jungle and planted a work where no one else could penetrate. I was doing the same thing, in the actual jungle.
Honored by the word, I kept it as an encouragement. A stretch? I definitely thought it was. But the word mantle continued to come up in my heart and in my life.

The word caused read the book ‘The Cross and the Switchblade,” a famous read in my family and in most charismatic circles of Christendom. The book details the beginning of Wilkerson’s ministry on the streets of New York.

Identifying with the Wilkerson’s Ministry
As I read the book, I was reading my own story. Never in my life have I read a book that I can identify with as much as this one. Intertwined in the book was the past of my family and the joy of my future. I understand exactly what Wilkerson was going through:

Dealing with self-destructive young people, having to talking over laughing and jeering as you share the message. Spending the night in cars and dangerous places where you “should’ve never been.”

And the humbling feeling of putting your heart and soul into events that no one participates in— or rallies where no one responds to the alter call. Hearts completely hardened.

That feeling of failure mixed with small glimmers of hope that God supernaturally ordains to keep us going. Andrew and I know it well. I’ve never identified with a book as much as I have this one.

As my plane nears touchdown in Kigali, Rwanda, I feel a renewed sense of vision and destiny for what Andrew and I will do. There’s no doubt about it that we are called to do this and God has truly set on us a mantle.

1 comment :

  1. This was touching to me .. Be bless and stay safe<><