Dewayne Rembert’s story pierces me every time I hear it. He’s been sharing the gospel every way he knows how for the past 17 years, but his first 26 years of life were filled with emotional pain and confusion. He spent most days bitter, angry and doing the wrong thing.
Like he says though, it isn’t different from so many other kids growing up without a father in the picture.
I guess that’s what pierces me even more — there are young lives all around us desperately hoping for someone to truly love and care for them, to rescue them.
Dewayne tells his story in his book “Flatlined 2 NGauge” and we’ve featured him in The Alabama Baptist in the past. A quick search on www.thealabamabaptist.org will pull up the story. A bit about his bio can be found on the staff page of Montgomery Baptist Association (mgmbaptists.org) and he is our guest on this week’s TAB News podcast (also found on TAB’s website or anywhere you get your podcasts).
Even if a young boy is attending church with his mother or grandmother that doesn’t mean everything is OK with him, Dewayne explained, reminding us that in most cases boys aren’t going to admit they are hurting.
There’s a pride element but there’s also the fear of being rejected or hurt again, so they don’t share their pain, their loneliness or their anger with anyone. They just stuff it down until it comes out in unhealthy ways.
As Dewayne recounted his own childhood struggles of searching for somewhere to belong and desperately seeking a sense of security, I thought of all the kids in the homes and communities around us who are in a similar situation.
How many times are those kids right in front of us but we are not aware enough of our surroundings to notice?
How many days do we spend obsessing over our own schedules and to-do lists, to the point of missing an opportunity to share Christ’s love to “one of the least of these”?
Another friend of mine recently stopped pursuing a coaching career to wash and detail cars for a living.
He said he spends each day ministering to the people whose cars he washes. “It’s what God called me to do so I can be available to minister without having to worry about the time,” he told me.
My friend, who has had his own difficult season of life, never knows what may come his way on any given day and many times that means he ends up spending more time listening and sharing with someone than it took to wash the person’s car.
Along with ministering one-on-one he also prays for the owner of the car as he works to make the inside and outside of the vehicle sparkle. Another reminder that we all could slow down to pray for those we come into contact with each day.
I love the hearts of these two sold-out servants of the Lord and am challenged to step up my own walk. Dewayne’s ministry verse is Romans 6:11. It’s a good one for all of us to remember: “Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”