Monday, April 12, 2010
WHEN I WAS IN PRISON, YOU VISITED ME
“Gifts make their way through stone walls.”
I’ve been involved with the prison ministry since 2004. Since then I’ve written countless letters to inmates, visited jails and prisons for adults and youth, as well as answered many letters that have come into my church, Willow Creek.
Every time I’ve stepped through the gates of a prison or jail grounds I feel the presence of God. It’s hard to describe but at that moment I know I’m exactly where I’m suppose to be. When I see the many faces of the men or youth, it only reconfirms my feelings.
Those that are behind bars are lost, lonely, depressed, feel hopeless, and unloved. But as I stand in their presence and worship with them, or share in their celebrations and life the hope, and love of Jesus is tangible. I can feel it.
I could write a book about all the amazing experiences I’ve had through the prison ministry, there’s that many. That’s not to say there is never any heartache because with everything in life there is bound to be. But the good is always outshining the bad for me. That is what I focus on. I’m not about to let satan win at taking away the gift God has blessed me with, and the calling He has for my life.
This picture is one I had the privilege of receiving through Willow Creeks Community Church’s mail from a gentleman that is incarcerated. It nearly brought me to my knees.
“You can’t help everybody, but you can help a few. It’s that few that God will hold us accountable for.”
Hebrew 13:3 “Don’t forget about those in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrow of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.”
“Each of our acts makes a statement as to our purpose.”
“No man is so poor as to have nothing worth giving. Give what you have. To someone it may be better than you dare to think.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow