To Be So Bold by Karen

The Oxford dictionary defines
vigilant as keeping careful watch
Synonyms include watchful, be on the
lookout, observant, and sharp-eyed.
When I'm out and about I try my best to notice the people around me so that I don't miss any opportunities to share Jesus' love with those in most need.  If I see someone sitting alone against a wall somewhere I might sit down next to her and ask how she's doing.  If a street vendor seems especially distant and preoccupied I may ask what's going on.  In the case of Franklin, I didn't need to "be on the lookout" because he approached Chris and me, while we were waiting at a little soda, shamelessly singing about his love for Christ.  The employees, who seemed all too familiar with Franklin's shtick, rushed over to shoo him away.  When we assured them that Franklin was no trouble, they seemed confused and a bit annoyed.  

We invited Franklin to sit down with us as we waited.  As we began talking we learned that his dad abandoned him at the age of 10 shortly after his mom's death.  On his way out of town, Franklin's dad lightheartedly suggested that somehow everything would work out, but Franklin wasn't so sure.  He was alone, scared, angry, and confused; he had no place to live and no legitimate way to earn money.  He didn't want to steal from anyone, but what else could a little boy do?  He wracked his brain and finally got the idea that maybe the kids in the neighborhood would pay him to beat up their enemies, which they did.  He had money enough to buy food until, of course, his reputation got so bad that even the trouble-makers avoided him.  He packed up the few belongings that he had and headed to the next town.  When he had overstayed his welcome there, he packed up again and moved on.  For eight years he wandered the streets.  As he was recounting his past, he shamefully admitted that during this time there wasn't anything that he wasn't willing to do to earn the money he needed to survive.   At 18, Franklin found himself in a community of Christians who seemed to care about him, his soul, and his salvation, but why?  It didn't make sense.  He said that they persistently invited him to church and went out of their way to share scripture with him until he finally gave in and attended one of their services.  As he recalled the significant milestones of his conversion story his eyes filled with tears.  Now, Franklin spends his time professing the Good News to anyone willing to listen. On this particular day, we were blessed to hear one of his impromptu raps which express his love for Jesus and his profound gratitude for all the Lord has done for him.  

Unlike the shop employees who were annoyed by Franklin's presence, I was grateful for our encounter because it really challenged me.  I pray for the courage to be so bold, to proclaim my love for Jesus shamelessly to everyone I meet.  I pray that, like Franklin, I will be humble enough to use the skills and talents that I've been given for the greater glory of God.  I also pray that you're inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, if even only a little bit, for Jesus.   

Following is a video clip of Franklin singing.  We've done our best to transcribe the first minute or so of the Spanish and then translated it into English so that you could better understand his message.  There are a couple places that I inserted question marks to indicate that we couldn't understand what he was saying, but I don't think that will keep you from understanding his sentiments. 

I hope you enjoy it!  Please say a prayer for Franklin.  In HIM, Karen

[He starts with an introduction, dedicating his rap to Chris and me, as well as some close friends.]

Hey, hey, hey...  (Hey, hey, hey!)
Dios, cuida de mi. (God, take care of me.)
No va a permitir a que nadie puede tocarme. (He's not going to allow anyone to touch me.)
Yo estoy muy feliz y (I'm very happy and)
quiero vivir solo para adorarle (I only want to live so that I can adore Him)
Hey, hey Dios, cuidame (Hey, hey, God, take care of me)
y de todos de mis enemigos, protegerme. (and protect me from all of my enemies.)
Dame forteleza para seguirte. (Give me the strength to follow you.) quiero sentir...?..... (I don't want to feel....?.....)
Senor, mi salvation, (Lord, my salvation,) 
me dale pocos fuerzas del corazon. (give me a strong heart.)
Tu sabes mis problemas, mi situation. (You know my problems, my situation.)
Solo te pido de tu bendicion. (I only ask for your blessing.)
Es que yo se que el me elige. (I know that he chooses me.)
Mi ilumina y me da su luz. (He illuminates me and gives me his light.)
Se que por mis pecados moriste en la Cruz. (I know that you died on the cross for my sins.)
Por todo eso, yo te amo Jesus! (For all of this, I love you, Jesus!)
Te amo, te amo, te amo, Jesus! (I love you, I love you, I love you, Jesus!)
Y dice en filipenses 4:13 "que todo puede Cristo que me fortelece" 
     (and it says in Philippines 4:13 that "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.")
Toda las cosas que me da en abundancia. (He gives me all things in abundance.)
Por eso, siempre te doy la gracias. (For this, I always give you thanks.)
Con su fuerza lejarle las maldiciones. (With His strength, evil is far away.)

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