I even bad-mouthed God. Then I grabbed him by the hair and hit his head against the wall until some of my friends pulled me away. They tried to tell me that: 'The preacher means no harm!' I went to the door.
Then David Wilkerson called after me: 'Nicky, before you go out of the door, I just want to tell you that Jesus loves you!'" (http://www.youthwork-practice.com/devotions-themes-talks/Nicky-Cruz)Nicky describes the words "Nicky, Jesus loves you" as a knife that pierced his heart. He continued going out with the gang. However, every night to him was like hearing a broken record which kept playing in his heart saying: "Jesus loves you, Jesus loves you!" A short time later, Nicky met with David Wilkerson, confessed his sins, begged forgiveness, and allowed Jesus to enter his life. He has since become one of the most effective witnesses for Christ and for troubled youth everywhere. And, Nicky proudly reported that his mother has changed as well. She is not a Satanist anymore, now she loves Jesus too. His brothers have also given their lives to the Lord along with many of his friends who were in the gang. Over the years since I heard Nicky Cruz, I have often thought about his testimony. It had been a story I could never forget. The one question that always reoccured in my mind when I thought about the horrible life Nicky first endured was "What would I have done if my mother had told me she hated me, wishing I was never born?" Often, since seeing Nicky, when I have encountered a particularly tough young man filled with hatred and bent on self destruction with hatred for the world, I have wondered why he acted so badly. Then, suddenly, I thought of Nicky's response to his horrible treatment. My mind confirmed the reality that I had just met another young "Nicky Cruz." Some thing, or many things, unspeakably terrible had probably happened to this delinquent. Now, filled with rage to avenge his wounds of the past, the teen had just become a new name playing an old part in the age-old drama of human brutality. I hoped, like Nicky, some day he would find salvation. I felt compassion for this pitiful kid. But, then, I would shutter as the answer to my question began to resister in my brain. I might have been a "Nicky Cruz" myself if I had encountered such rejection. And, finally, the answer came to me as clear as the conscience of our Savior: I would have done anything, absolutely anything at all, no matter how horrible if I had been treated the way Nicky Cruz was treated by the ones I was trying to love. Thank God I was born into a loving, caring family. Through nothing I had any control over whatsoever, I had been spared the life of a gangster. Postscript: A film, Run Baby Run: The Nicky Cruz Story, based upon Cruz's book of the same title, is set for release in 2010.