My name is Kevin.
I’m not really a writer.
Writing these few sentences have taken me like... literally 15 minutes... I’m in this really cool coffee shop and there is just so much going on. People talking, working, day dreaming, and I keep making awkward eye contact with the girl playing guitar.
Yes, I’m easily distracted, but it’s amazing to me that just in this one coffee shop there are so many stories waiting to be told and heard.
That everyone is someONE.
It seems to me that time after time when I listen to people’s stories, it reflects the one story: at the very core of who we are, we all want LOVE.
So my friend Nate and I decided to do this thing called Shock The World (STW)... because we believe with YOU, we can shock the world one story at a time. Through unconditional love.
So what is love?
Have you ever loved someone or something so much?
Yes, hockey skates. You see, I didn’t grow up with much of anything, but I will never forget the day when a local family showed up to my house and gave me brand new hockey skates. Bauer hockey skates to be exact. These skates promised to make me skate faster and be great like Gretzky or Lemieux. If you don’t know who those players are it’s okay... I guess. Just kidding.
I loved these skates more than anything. Even writing this right now I can still feel the excitement and love I had at that moment. So that day I had to try them out right? I lived about 2 miles away from a local pond where people would play pick up hockey games. A few of my friends and I walked down to the pond to play... I remember lacing up the skates, they fit like a dream. It was the best hockey I have ever played in my entire life and I owed it all to the new skates. About half way through the day, the hockey puck got shot across the ice to where the ice was a bit thinner than the main pond.
I skated over to get it...
I mean, I was having the best day and wanted to play more.
As I approached the puck, the ice began to crack then through the ice I fell.
Are you on the edge of your seat yet?
You should be, after all, I could have died!
Thankfully the pond wasn’t that deep... I only fell through up to about my knees, and I was able to easily climb out. I grabbed the puck and without hesitation, continued to play hockey with my friends.
After playing a few more hours, the sun began to go down and it was time to head home. I sat down to take the skates off and I realized that they were completely frozen onto my feet!
“Huh”, I remember thinking,
“What am I going to do”?
If you don’t know anything about hockey skates, one thing to know is that if you wear them on cement or really anything other than ice you can seriously ruin them. There was absolutely NO WAY I was going to ruin these skates! I loved them so much!! So it seemed to me the most reasonable thing to do was to crawl home. My friends thought I was nuts, but all of us coming from the same neighborhood knew it was what we all would do.
I remember starting off and it being kinda funny,
crawling through the snow,
then on the icy pavement,
but after about 10 minutes,
it was no longer that funny,
it was seriously painful.
I didn’t have any real gloves,
only hockey gloves...
I wasn’t going to ruin those either.
Everything was just throbbing in pain!
After the first mile or so I just remember crying... pain...
It got to the point where I was so cold that you don’t even feel anything!
The final block after 2 miles of crawling I think I was in a black out state. I crawled through the door to my house and just laid in the kitchen, bawling at this point, and the pain didn’t get better, it grew worse and worse!
As I began to thaw out I noticed that my hands and face were covered in blisters, frost bite. I was laying there for who knows how long, almost hoping to die. My skates thawed and I was able to take them off. They were completely fine, no damage at all.
Is this crazy?
When you love someone or something... you will do anything.
This is why STW exists.
Love. Everyone needs it.
STW has many avenues and ways to show love but I just want to highlight 3 for you.
Jesus. People. Change.
You see, Jesus changed my life.
I want to make this clear right off the bat, STW is not about religion, in fact, I’m not about religion at all.
Everything we do at STW will have Jesus at the center, the focal point.
He gave us the perfect example of what LOVE is: Laying your life down for one another.
The greatest sacrifice.
You see, the greatest challenge to real love is are you willing to lay your life down for someone who may never do the same? I believe Jesus is the answer and I’m not ashamed of that one bit.
Jesus is pretty amazing. Actually words can’t even describe how beautiful He really is. There is something that happens when you decided to follow Jesus, your life is changed! All of a sudden it’s not about you anymore.
It’s about loving others.
That everyone is someONE.
And YOUR life begins to reflect His story.
STW is about ALL PEOPLE. Every race, social background, gender, sexual orientation, economic status... EVERYONE.
We can see that things aren’t right, but TOGETHER we can affect the stories of people’s lives.
You see, there is a massive imbalance going on... and if we don’t do something, who will?
It’s not fair that I can sit here in comfort while behind closed doors children are prostituted and robbed of their innocence.
It’s not fair that I can go about consuming every material thing while the widow and orphan are stripped of life’s basic dignities.
It’s not fair that we as a generation are choking on our own obesity while at the same time, over 30,000 children die everyday from hunger
It’s not fair that I will spend 3 to 4 dollars on glorified tap water with a fancy label while we have entire communities that suffer at the hands of disease, because the only water they have access to is foul and polluted.
It’s not fair that I have freedom and liberty while at the same time slaves remains captive; out of sight and out of mind.
Is it fair that we can look at the news from the convenience of our phone and have pity on those who lived where the storm hit, or the ground shook, or where the water rose, and simply feel sorry for them then move on to the next thing?
Is it fair to walk by the homeless man and give him nothing? Assuming he will buy drugs or alcohol? Who are we to judge the alcoholic, the addict, the criminal, or the prostitute as if we’re any better?
Who are we to forget the hurting, the lost, and the broken, while meanwhile, we go about chasing our dreams and stepping on others to get it?
You see, we... I... see this massive imbalance and say it’s not fair... and that's all we do. That's all we do because for us to do something, it will cost us something.
If this is where it ends... perhaps it’s fair to say that when we ignore the prostituted child, we actually lend a hand in their abuse.
That when we ignore the widow and orphan, we actually add to their pain.
When we ignore the slave who remains captive, it is us who’s entrapping them.
When we forget the refugee, it’s us who are displacing them.
When we choose not to help the poor and needy, we actually rob them.
The fairest thing to say is when we forsake the lives of others... we actually forsake our own.
I know that this is really heavy... but it’s reality. If we don’t do something... who will?
It starts with YOU. Lets LOVE people. That you can affect the lives of others. You can change their story.
WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD! I have to believe that. At STW we don’t just want to talk about it... but actually put ACTION to our words.
This is the real challenge.
But, it can be as simple as a smile that can change someones day.
Or a hug.
Even just listening maybe?... :)
You don’t realize how amazing YOU are and what kind of impact YOU really have!
At STW, we have a few ways of change that we want to do.
- STW CAMPAIGNS!
What are these campaigns? Our campaigns are a way for you to get involved and help a cause. Right now, our first cause is Detroit Public Schools and helping them with school supplies. We want to use our gifts and talents to help show love to others.
So, check out our really hip STW shirts... all proceeds go to help buy school supplies!
More like parties! We want to know you!! To celebrate your talents, gifting, and personalities to help SHOCK THE WORLD! These events will have live music, DJ’s, Worship, and most importantly, FOOD!
So yeah... it’s a start. Are you in?
One final thought.
I truly believe people are awakening to real love and are starting to walk in it.
That we’re moving beyond our differences.
Laying down our egos.
Rising up with hearts as one.
That we are finding our value in the broken, the hurting, and the lost.
So let us fight against the monster of apathy and indifference, let the seduction of comfort, convenience, and conformity be dead and buried.
Let us go to war against injustice and oppression.
Let our faith, hope, and love unite us. May the stories of our lives, in all things, reflect the story of Jesus’ name. Amen.