Pastor Steve Gerby told story at LYO National Gathering of a boy named Darius.  He was about 11 years old and was the kind of kid every pastor loves to have in their congregation.  He started to come around to help in their community garden.  Eventually he brought his older brothers to help and then the family started attending church.  After about two years, they moved to the south side, because his mother wanted her children to live in a safer place.  Their neighbor next door, a 75 year old white man, did not like having a black family move next door.  He was convinced they were stealing from him, even though they were not.  One night, Darius was taking out the garbage.  His mother was watching from the porch.  The neighbor came out with a gun.  Darius saw him and raised his hands, but the neighbor shot him.  Darius tried to run away, but the neighbor shot him again.  By the time his mother got to him, he was dead.  Pastor Gerby said he did not become a true pastor until after he had to do the funeral for that child.  He reckons that he said what he himself needed to hear that day.  Darius’ mother, Patricia, says she cannot hate the neighbor who killed her son.  She cannot let hatred infect and take over her heart and her life.  To this day she demonstrates what it really means to love your neighbor as yourself.   Not the neighbor who looks like you, and with whom you may have a lot in common.  No, she demonstrates how to love the neighbor who killed her child in cold blood.

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