I read today that David Wilkerson, the founder of Teen Challenge passed away in a fatal car accident. Though the beliefs of his church may differ from the Catholic Faith in some ways, this man's work was a tremendous inspiration to me. I read his book, "The Cross and the Switchblade," when I was 14 years old and working in my church's nursery. His belief that there was good in everyone, even the most hardened drug addict and teen ghetto gang member was the main reason that I became a psychologist, and one of the contributing factors to my decision to work with criminal offenders.
To this day, I often think of his statement to a gang member who threatened to knife him: "You can do that. You can cut me into a million pieces. And every one of them would say I love you." I still get chills and tears when I think about that...
Rest In Peace and with Jesus, David Wilkerson