MJ and 'Air Graham'
I Wanna Be Like Reg…
I went to Chicago for the first time this week and met a guy named Elmer who (upon learning it was my first time in the city) shook my hand and said, “Welcome to the city that Al Capone and Michael Jordan made famous!” When I was a kid, Michael Jordan was the most famous person on the planet. Everyone loved Jordan. Even if you had no idea what a basketball was, you loved Jordan! I can remember being in 7th grade when I first saw the commercial of MJ playing basketball with a bunch of little kids while some folks sang, “Like Mike, if I could be like Mike… I wanna be, I wanna be like Mike…” We all wanted to be like Mike. Everyone I knew had a ‘Bulls’ jersey with ‘23’ on the back, and I saved every dime of my paper route money for four months so that I could buy a pair of Nike Air Jordan’s…
I admit that I too wanted to be like Mike… to jump like that and dunk like that, but it was not meant to be… in fact, I’m among the worst basketball players to ever taint the court, but that’s okay. I have a new goal now and a new hero. You’ve never heard of him, and you probably never will in this life outside of these short paragraphs. His name is Reginald, and he told me to call him “Reg.” He lives in the Lawndale community in downtown Chicago and this past Tuesday he worshiped God at a place called “The Bridge” for the first time.
The Bridge is a part of an urban ministry to gang members and prisoners in Chicago called Mission:USA. The folks at Mission:USA have been sharing the Gospel with gang members and prisoners for years and watching them not only come to Christ, but become strong and committed disciples of Jesus and evangelists to others like themselves. The Bridge is a meeting that takes place every Tuesday night where tons of these believers can go to worship together and get connected with local pastors who then invite them into a church home as they re-enter their neighborhoods. This week Tom, Joe, Graham and I went to Chicago to worship with, fellowship with and serve the folks at The Bridge with food, music and the word. It was awesome to meet them, hug them and be loved on by these sweet brothers and sisters who love our Lord so much!
At The Bridge there is a box for suggestions and prayer requests. They write down topics they want to hear sermons on and songs they want to sing, but they also write down things they are struggling with so that they can get prayer. Mike from Mission:USA was showing me the slips of paper in the suggestion box when I saw one that was from Reg. It read simply, “My name is Reginald, and I need all the help I can get.”
I needed to see that note… I think it is so easy for us who have every comfort we could ever want to remember that we are still so needy… that we need our Father for everything… and that we need to learn to cry out for help. I was reading different verses about how God is our help, how He saves us from trouble and provides all we need, and this one verse just jumped off of the page… “Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of Your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.” –Psalm 79:9 When was the last time you straight up cried out for help? When was the last time you had to beg God to help you praise Him in the middle of a trial or help you get rid of your anxiety or anger? Do you know today how much you need him? Reg does. He needs all the help he can get. That’s why I want to be like Reg… I want to be a pro at knowing my need for Him and crying out for help.