This week I am filling in for the DeKalb County Jail Chaplain, who is out of town. I received a request to visit an inmate from Allen County whose pastor was not available to visit him. It was a profitable visit as this young man was seriously seeking God. He had some very good questions about the Bible that I was able to answer.
This young man had made some bad choices and got himself mixed up with some pretty rough characters doing some pretty dumb things here in DeKalb County. Being from a mixed-race ethnic background, these white guys attempted to terrorize him with threats of lynching from a backyard tree. This scared him badly. Fortunately for all involved, the local police arrested him on a substance abuse charge and locked him up.
This eye-opening experience forced him to turn to God. He wanted to change his life and pursue God like he had heard about years ago in the Allen County Juvenile Center (formerly Wood Youth Center). Join me in praying for this young man, that God will give him a plan to carry out his dream, and not fall back into the same thing. Life change is what Christianity is really all about.
Tags: conversion, fear, jail, prejudice
I went to the county jail yesterday to visit a young lady incarcerated for selling drugs to an undercover officer. I expected to deal with a con artist, someone who knew how to fool everyone else because she herself was fooled. But I was surprised at her openness in admitting that she made bad choices and now had to make it right.
I asked her how she thought God felt about her right now. In shame she said that He was probably mad at her right now. That gave me an opportunity to talk about how God loves her unconditionally and that she was beating up on herself because she was using her own failure as the standard of forgiveness, rather than what Jesus did for her on the cross. We prayed a prayer of rededication and I expect God to begin revealing Himself to her daily.
But, most of all, the experience taught me a valuable lesson on thanksgiving. As I talked to her my mind went back to some of my own stupid and irresponsible choices I made years ago. But for the grace of God, I would be the one sitting there in that cold jail cell. I left the jail with a deeper appreciation of the Lord’s grace in my life. That’s what I’m thankful for!
Tags: choices, grace, jail, thankful