My dad would always leave. It was always told to me that he was at college. When I got older I realized that college was the prison.
I would hate Parent Day. I would hate Parent-Teacher Day because I would always go in the bathroom and have to create this story of where my father was. My friend, his dad was the president of a bank and his dad was a firefighter. I hated that day. I would always play sick that day. From twelve to twenty-two I spent my life in the streets being what I call a street pharmacist. I was wanting to do drugs, wanted to mess with girls, and wanted to fight. I would get into it with a rival gang and as I was running bullets were going past my ears, they were hitting the floor and scraping off the ground. I jumped in the big green expedition and I got out of this park.
The unique thing and the sad thing about this story is that fifteen minutes before I pulled into the park I saw a childhood friend. He was like, “what are you about to do?” I was like, “I’m about to go put in work on these ops real quick you roll with me.” He jumps in the car. When I jumped out of the car he was holding his chest. The first thing I said, I will never forget it was, “Yo, stop playing”, and he wasn’t playing. He died instantly that night. The hollow tip had broke in his chest. I wanted to kill somebody. I was doing drugs like never before.
I was sitting in jail playing chess and I heard, “Quantel”. I just froze. I was like, man, somebody said my name. The guy that was playing chess said, “No, your tripping bro. Just keep playing. Nobody said your name” I said, “yeah you are right.” So, I made my move. I heard again, “Quantel”. Now I’m spooked. Now I’m standing by the door and the door swings open. Low and behold, it’s my father. I give the old man the bottom bunk and we just start jailing. This is what you do, this is what you don’t do. He showed me how to make stuff. We were in this cell together and it’s terrible but it was somewhat okay for me because for sixty days straight I had my dad. The sad part is, my dad knows the Bible from Genesis to Revelation word for word without opening it. I can call him and ask, “what does Galatians 3:5 say? What’s the backdrop?” He will just break it down. It’s heartbreaking.
Seeing that and seeing my dad go in and out of prison from the age of six or seven on up kind of just really shattered my world view.
So I went right back to the streets and riding around with guns. I never will forget sitting on my cousin David’s deck, I told him, “If this is living I would just rather die.” The same cousin hit me up and said, “Hey man, we are going down to uncle Tommy’s house and we are going to watch the Peach Drop for New Years'.” We were drinking. We were playing this whack game of Monopoly. I was broke, depressed, contemplating suicide. I was thinking, “Is Islam the way? Is Buddist the way? Do I need to go Vegan? What do I need to do? I said, God, I believe you are real and if you will have me if you will let me in your family, Lord I promise you I will try. I will just try to do better.” When I opened my eyes, the drink was melted. I didn’t pick it back up. I just went back home. I didn’t say anything to anybody because I was not going back to the hood and tell them I found Jesus while playing a game of Monopoly.
The next thing you know, I’m trying to learn how to pray and was ministering in an urban community about God, Jesus, and the peace that surpasses all understanding. I did that for three to four months. That August I enrolled in a Bible college. I’m an associate youth pastor at a church. Four kids, later I am celebrating eight years of marriage.
My dad went to prison. He just got out again. I tell you, as a pastor, as a man of faith being upset with God struggling when I would see people stand up in front of the church and give testimony of how they have been delivered of drugs, I would say, man, God that’s been my prayer every day and every night that the spirit of sobriety would hit my dad.
I refuse to believe that his vice is stronger than God’s word.