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Turning your kids into radicals at a young age

Sarae Martin emailed me the following story that just happened to her. As I pulled into McDonalds, I saw a pile of suitcases, obviously those of a homeless person. My thought was, “where will they go tonight when McDonald’s closes?” I looked up and there in the window with more suitcases w…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Sarae Martin emailed me the following story that just happened to her.

As I pulled into McDonalds, I saw a pile of suitcases, obviously those of a homeless person. My thought was, “where will they go tonight when McDonald’s closes?” I looked up and there in the window with more suitcases was a woman in her 60’s, homeless. I thought to myself, “I have no money to give her. But how can I be radical and reach out to someone who could potentially be trapped in this cold?”

So I decided to be radical, and I marched right up to the woman and asked her if she had a place to go tonight. She replied that she needed to get to the bus station at 9:00 PM (it was 7:00 at this point) in order to go pay a bill. But she had no way to get herself and her luggage to the bus station in this cold. I asked her if I could give her a ride. Her reply was that she couldn’t go this early because the station is outside. I asked her where she had to go.

She replied “South Bend.” South Bend is only 20 minutes from where we were at. So I told her I would drive her 20 minutes the opposite way so she could save her bus fare for something else. She was shocked; I was shocked.

I loaded my car with 8 pieces of luggage and drove her to South Bend. On the way there she asked if she could pay me gas money. I told her “no, I don’t have any money to give you, but I have a full tank of gas.” I prayed for her and left.

For me, that was radical living. It was me laying aside my agendas, my tasks and putting someone else’s life before mine. That night it could have even been a life saving thing with the bitter cold. I decided I was going to start living like a radical. And I had this conversation with my kids about it:

Garrett (5)-“What does radical mean?”

“It means doing things that the world thinks is crazy.”

Garrett- “What could I do at school that would be radical?”

“Being friends with the kid no one likes. When everyone else is asking why you would even think to be his friend, you make a choice to befriend him.”

Garrett- “I want to be radical.”

He and I began a 20 minute conversation about being radical for Christ. He even came home, found his dad napping, climbed in bed next to him, put his arm around him and said, “Dad do you know what it means to be radical?”

This is now a part of his lingo. He loved the story about the guy on the mountain. He even related it to the current favorite movie,
Cars. After thinking about being radical he said, “Mom, in the movie Cars, when Lightning McQueen goes back and helps The King, and doesn’t win the Piston Cup, is that being radical?”

“Yes buddy, you got it! He put aside his greatest goal to save the heart of one who had been injured.”

“If Chick had given the piston cup back to Lightning, would that have been radical?”

YES, YES, YES…this kid got it! At 5 and 6 my kids can be radical too. I even gave them permission to seek out radical things to do and that I would help them live that way.

Comments (8)

  • Seth,
    This is great stuff! I certainly need to be more open to this kind of “radical” living. I also have to have this conversation with my boys. Thanks.

  • Radical Teaching:
    Son, I am leaving you for a year to fend for yourself in this pressurized American culture and with a family that does not support your choice to follow Christ. I am proud of you for seeking God, and I know you will do well. I believe in you!

    Result:
    So yea… IM pretty sure im the cutest guy on earth. And yes, I have recieved christ and I think it is the best and most influential decision I’ll ever make in life. Also, music is my a very important part of me. I play in the band at oldham county high school and i also play a little praise and worship music in my church high school youth group. I know that god has given me the gift of music and I plan to fulfill this dream to glorify him.
    AND…
    Mom, I want to go on a mission trip too!!!
    (see blog: http://jennifersmith.theworldrace.org/index.asp?nMonth=6&nYear=2006)

    RADICAL LIVING IS RADICAL TEACHING!

  • I enjoyed reading this article….it is amazing how God provides just what you need to hear right when you need it. God knew I needed to be reminded about living a radical life for Him!! Thank again for this posting~

  • love that story…..if we learn this when we are young and not trapped by fear oh the years that would not be wasted….

  • Bro Martins Ezeala{Nigeria}

    There was a prophecy to take the message of our Lord Jesus to Uganda last year in our church, so in 2007itook my 13yr old son, sold 2out of our 5 cars went with our passports got visas and a contact and we flew to this east African country and stayed for 30days preaching on the street of Kampala, visiting and praying for the sick.I believe when he grows he will not depart from this radical path, our master walked during His days in Isreal.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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