Today’s Tony’s Battling With Yesterday’s Tony!

Tony, 40 years old, is a tough guy — tough on the streets, tough in prison. Yet, when he feels safe to talk and tell his story today — that’s not who he is, at all!

Raised here in Baltimore, in the midst of dysfunction, Tony was an insecure, scared little boy. But no one seemed to understand or care and he decided he’d have to take matters into his own hands.

Tony walked around with a chip on his shoulder — at least that was the appearance. Bigger than most kids, he decided he’d try almost anything — including fight almost anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Tony got pretty good at this, too! Nobody pushed him around anymore and he started walking the streets of Baltimore with intimidation-style respect.

Now a “player,” Tony had the rap sheet and scars to prove it. He wanted to believe this image was the real Tony — but deep down inside he knew it wasn’t.

Tony arrived at Helping Up Mission for our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program almost 2 months ago. Things he’s heard, seen and felt here offer a stark contrast to what he’s known,

Still bigger than most and carrying himself the only way he knows — street/prison tough guy — Tony’s faced the reality this isn’t who he really is or wants to be!

We sat down this week and he shared all these thoughts with me. For him, Old Tony doesn’t really exist — even though that’s what people see!

Truth be told — New Tony is really the Old, Old Little Tony — not a tough guy, at all! And Jesus is helping New Tony be okay with that.

I actually think New Tony’s winning — but this is a battle to be fought and won…

…One Day at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers