Run Baby Run, by Nicky CruzRun Baby Run is the autobiography of an inspiring Christian, Nicky Cruz, who wasn’t always serving the Lord.
Nicky grew up in Puerto Rico, where his mother and father were spiritualists. His childhood was hard and lonely and he was convinced no one loved him. Nicky felt alone in the world at a young age and this made a deep hatred begin to grow inside him. By the time Nicky was 16 his parents could no longer handle him and sent him to live with his brother, Frank, in New York City.
When Nicky arrived in New York, he was scared and even lonelier. Speaking limited English, Nicky found his way to his brother’s house and stayed there for awhile. Before long, Nicky got into trouble at school and left his brother’s house.
Nicky was living along on the streets. He soon became active in the gangs and eventually was the most feared gang leader in all of New York. When things were beginning to seem hopeless for Nicky, a skinny little preacher named David Wilkerson confronted Nicky’s gang. David told Nicky that Jesus loved him, No one had ever said that to Nicky before, and it deeply effected him. Nicky decided to live his life for Jesus and leave his gang life.
The next year, Nicky left for California and enrolled in a Bible school. While there, he met a lovely woman named Gloria whom he later married. After finishing his Bible schooling, he started Teen Challenge back where he grew up in Brooklyn. He brought many gang members, drug-dealers and homosexuals off the streets and to Christ. He turned his life around and lived strongly for the Lord.Love was a major godly principle that deeply effected the characters in Run Baby Run.
Nicky Cruz felt like he needed love his whole life. Finally, the love of God was shown to him through David Wilkerson and it changed his life. Nicky was able to pass that love on to others and it effected so many hardened hearts.
If this glimmer of love had never entered the life of Nicky, he would never have transformed into such a man of God. Nicky would never have brought so many others to Christ if not for the Love of God. Another Godly principle that was at work in this story is faith. When Nicky decided to take that first “leap of faith” and live his life for God, that was only the beginning. When he set up his ministry, he had to trust God that it was the right thing.
Nicky had to put his faith in God and know that God would provide for him. As things got hard, Nicky knew that it was only by faith that he could carry himself through the storm. There were many struggles in Nicky Cruz’s life. His childhood caused pain for Nicky that would stay with him as he grew up.
His childhood rooted a deep hatred for his family and surroundings. Nicky had a constant struggle with this hatred. It caused him to be lonely, angry and afraid. Nicky’s hatred caused him to kill, steal and fight with no feelings of guilt.
It made Nicky like an animal, with hatred as his instincts. When others thought Nicky was hopeless, God had a different plan. God used the power of preachers to effect Nicky and change his life. God ended Nicky’s struggle with hatred and replaced it with a deep love for Jesus.Another struggle that Nicky dealt with was failure.
As Nicky’s life was now centered on his ministry, he began to take it personally when people didn’t stick to the Christian life. When drug addicts went back to being pushers and users, and as gang members went back to their lives of violence and crime Nicky struggled with the disappointment. He was blaming himself for these dropouts, yet there was little he could do about it. There were just too many problems to handle alone.
God helped Nicky by showing him scripture and giving him inner peace with these burdens. Run Baby Run is an exceptional story of inspiration and love. I was very impressed with all aspects of this novel but I am most impressed with the changes in Nicky’s life. He was able to go from the most feared gang leader who killed, stole, did drugs and hated life itself into a respected Christian leader. Nicky was utterly evil and was even called the son of Satan by his own mother. Even fellow gang members were afraid that Nicky would lash out on them. This did not phase God, and that what makes so much of this story impressive.
God has more power than even the cruelest savage among us does. God’s love can penetrate the thickest barrier and it is the greatest.