A Death of a Vision
"Grab him," the officer said to his partner. In one quick motion, David Wilkerson was escorted out of the courtroom. "Where’s your gun?" David was asked. The officers were unimpressed when David tried to explain he was a preacher and just wanted to talk to the judge. The murder trial of 12 gang members brought about many murder threats against the judge. When David rushed toward the judge to talk to him, the officers thought he was going to attack the judge.
After David was released, reporters mobbed him. They wanted to know all about this preacher who has been apprehended by the police. After being asked a variety of questions, the reporters baited him by asking him if he was ashamed of the Bible he was carrying. He boldly raised his Bible in the air and said, "No!" The next day the photograph of this "fanatical" preacher holding up his Bible was shown all across America.
David Wilkerson was embarrassed and humiliated. Not only did he completely fail to accomplish his original goal (talking to the 12-gang members), he had allowed himself to be portrayed as a wacko preacher. Everyone in his hometown and congregation were aware of his "blunder." David kept rethinking the incident, trying to figure out how he could have completely misunderstood God’s leading.
Confused and frustrated, David still had a burden to see the 12-gang members, so he drove back to New York again. Uncertain as what to do next, he parked his car and started to walk through the worst parts of the slums. One thing was obvious; these people were not open to outsiders. He thought to himself that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to start a ministry here for these hurting people.
Then, the strangest thing happened. Right out of the blue someone said, "Hey, aren’t you the preacher who got kicked out of the murder trial? Anyone who has had a run-in with the law is all right with me." This gave David the opportunity to talk openly with this gang member. Wherever he went, gang members would recognize him and wanted to talk to him. He now had an opening with these gang members that he would never have had if it weren’t for his "blunder" at the courthouse. This became the beginning of a very successful ministry to the gangs of New York.
What was once viewed as the lowest point in David’s life turned out to be the special key that opened the door to a very closed society. If he had not had this humiliating and demoralizing experience at the courthouse, he may not have been able to reach the gangs as successfully as he has. I can’t say for certain, but it is my opinion God allowed the events at the courthouse to take place in order to provide David an opening with the gangs.
We all have had dreams that have died. Sometimes these dreams have died because of our sins; sometimes they have died because they were not of God. Sometimes they have died because God wanted to use this experience to pave the way for something better. Whatever the reason, our Almighty God is capable of taking any dead dream and turning it into something beautiful.
(Source: Cross and the Switchblade)
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