“Hey, Man! You Straight?”

When the Lord allows me to, I head down to Tampa, Florida for the winter to avoid the colder weather up north. Usually, I stay at a missionary house in a low-income neighborhood referred to by locals as “Suitcase City” because of numerous transients that live there (someone once left a suitcase pictured here by the fence surrounding the property). The area has become a mission field for me. 

The first time I resided in this neighborhood of mostly Hispanics and African-Americans, quite a few of the latter approached me asking, “Hey, man! You straight?” Suspecting they were drug dealers, I always replied, “Yeah, I’m going straight to heaven. How about you? If you died right now, where would you go…heaven or hell?” Usually, they walked (or in some cases ran) away from me. 

Two days ago I was asked again by a stranger, “You straight? After I turned the conversation into a witnessing opportunity, this man swore and walked toward a bar. Minutes later when arriving at Burger King to go online with my laptop, I decided to verify what that man wanted. Sure enough, the website urbandictionary.com states “you straight?” is “…used to find out if someone has illegal drugs…used mostly for marijuana.”

Before becoming a Christian, I regularly drank alcohol but never got into drugs. Nowadays, I encourage dealers and users to get high on the Most High God. That helps keep one on the straight and narrow.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.” - Matthew 7:13-14 (AMPC)

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