Legal Sin

December 31,2009
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera( )

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

Being a street worker secretly seduced me. I loved walking the streets, listening to secular music, inhaling the smoothing smell of weed as it burned in a blazed blunt. Street work was permissible sin, rationalizing the distance I put between God and me. "After all," I told God, "I'm working." Sitting in the back seat of Rizz's 1998 Chevy Impala, with Rizz driving and Devin in the passenger seat, reminded me of my life before I truly connected with Christ. Like the day... ...I rode with Angel and Will to New Hampshire for a court appearance. We smoked blunts and blasted Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" album. Suddenly, lights from a state trooper's siren flashed from behind us. Angel pulled over. I was in the backseat, pregnant with Porshai. Whenever I smoked weed, she jumped like she had the hiccups. Now, high and paranoid, with Porshai jumping in my womb, and a ten-pack of crack in my bra, I needed an escape route. I quickly devised a plan: Jump over the rail, run through the woods, throw the ten-pack into the bushes, and then allow the police to arrest me. The state trooper asked Angel and Will to exit the vehicle. He saw I was pregnant. "Stay seated. Don't move," the officer ordered. "Officer, we had a joint but it's gone," Angel pointed to the roach in the ashtray. The officer searched the vehicle. He found nothing. He let us go. ...in the back seat of Rizz'z Impala, without weed or crack, I closed my eyes. I let the bass beat against my heart like I use to. Rizz and Devin asked, "T, what's up with God?" Rizz called me his "Spiritual adviser." They thought I was bringing them nearer to God. But they were really keeping God in my conscience when I wanted to forget Him.