In the next blog post, I’ll be returning to the previous style of going through a book of the Bible and looking at each verse one post at a time. However, today, I am excited about Christmas coming up, I am delighted that my university is on winter break and I am grateful to be in this place of transition where there is so much on the horizon!
During Thanksgiving break, I got an address for a guy whom I have never met, nor do I know. He is incarcerated and doesn’t believe in Jesus. I have written letters to others before and have even written anonymous cards of encouragement to people I felt led to encourage. However, this opportunity means something to me in a way that I can’t properly explain. After doing 13 years myself, I know what it is like to get mail, I also know that out here in the day to day bustle of life it is hard to keep up with appointments and the chores and everything else that we have going on, much less try to write and witness to people who are incarcerated. Yet, Hebrews 13:3 tells us to remember those who are in prison, as if we are in prison ourselves. That hits home for me because I know what it is like.
I know what it is like to push a button that is set on a two-minute timer for showers. I know what it is like to be told what to eat, when to eat and how long one has to eat. I know what it is like to get jumped, sucker punched and bullied. I know what it is like to have my food trays taken. I know what it is like to be sexually assaulted. I know what it is like to sit in isolation for six months straight. I know what it is like to have a knife pulled on me and robbed. I know what it is like to have to make collect calls. I know what it is like to stand up front at mail call and not get anything. I know because in those thirteen years, while I had plenty of mail, made plenty of calls and did get several visits, I also experienced the flip side of it and know what it is like.
In fact, a while back, I met with a local pastor about going into jails and prisons to talk to at-risk youth about Jesus. However, with a felony, that is not as easy as one might think. While I might be a great candidate to talk to at-risk youth in detention homes and in jails since I was 14 when I got locked up, it is almost impossible for me to willingly go back inside. The same thing that holds me back from getting a passport, keeps me from going into jails and prisons. However, God has allowed me to get my voting rights back so perhaps some day He will allow me to overcome this obstacle, too.
Yet, while I cannot go back in just yet, I can write letters like Paul and the other Apostles did and remember those who are in prison and in the jails by encouraging them. So, this year I am also excited that God is providing me with the opportunity to write to a guy who does not know Jesus in prison; and that I may be able to encourage him through letters. Who knows where that could lead? Perhaps a prison-letter-writing ministry? Only God knows for sure!
In what way has God equipped you for His Kingdom so that you may fulfill His plan for you? Are you pursuing His purpose? What obstacles do you face and how may they be overcome?
Until Next TimeGod Bless