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I grew up in a chaotic world of communes, cults, and utopian dreams of radically remaking society.
At 12, I escaped, quite literally, and went to live with my dad. What followed were two years of
reconciliation school, church, and an entire world I had never even known existed. At 13 I formally came
to Christ, as in studying the bible, being baptized, and accepting church membership. The following year the
family court system stepped in decided to return me to my mother. In the magical wonder of bureaucracy,
the moment they took me into custody, they promptly lost me. Somehow my case number was transposed,
my file slipped off a desk, and I spent nearly a year misplaced somewhere within the system.

That is how I came to be in the Land of Broken Toys. The Land of Broken Toys was a place for feral children,
a juvenile holding facility for transposed case numbers. In all sincerity, it was the best thing that could
have happened. I’ve been to Disneyland a few times, this playground was even better. It was like a ninja
training facility for girls, girls from every race, and every one an aspiring gang banger. Fights were hourly,
day and night. I can honestly claim to have been slammed into concrete walls by girls from every continent on the
planet. It was awesome, we should never underestimate the therapeutic value of hand to hand combat. That is
not sarcasm.

When I went to the Land of Broken Toys, I didn’t have the common sense of a gnat. Nobody had ever told me to
be scared of roving bands of tribalistic fury. I was never properly introduced to the ways of so called
“civilization.” When girls get in your face, even wannabe gangsters, it’s mostly bluff and bravado. I didn’t
know that, so I fought back, wildly, unpredictably, and with a determination to win.

However, there was this slight problem. God talked to me constantly, in that still quiet voice. It’s amazing,
but once you come to Christ, change is inevitable. He immediately begins to transform you. One time this
girl came flying at me from across the room and I clearly heard the words, “don’t do it.” “It” turned out to
be picking her up and throwing her back across the room. The moment I did it, I was instantly contrite, not
because of her, but because I had once again failed to obey that infinitely patient voice. That voice made me
look at her, see beyond the toughness, and empathize. Rushing over, I told her I was sorry that people had been
mean to her, sorry she was in this place, and that she deserved so much better. Rather then breaking her neck,
her heart broke, and we became best friends.

Two more incidents like that and nobody ever bothered me again. It wasn’t that I could fight my way out of a wet
paper bag, it was that I was so unpredictable and prone to erratic mood swings, they all decided I was crazy.
Even the staff would point and whisper, watch out for that one, she’s spooky.

I will be forever grateful for the time I spent in the Land of Broken Toys. I learned that I wasn’t broken,
I was nobody’s toy, and that God truly loves His feral lambs.