Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Update: A Prison Visit, at Last

Yesterday, God granted me success in seeing my imprisoned friend.

He is doing well, away from the issues that claw at his heart and destroy his body. He looks good. He is his "old self," which is his new self in Christ.

He hopes to get out. I don't see that happening. He has not quite come to terms with the magnitude of what is facing him.

In the meanwhile, he has joy in Christ and is ministering to others, studying the Word with them and encouraging them. I have no doubt he will do this even if he never again sees the light of day.

Visiting the prison is interesting. As I was leaving, they were pulling a sad man out of the detox/holding room not 3 feet away. A foreboding deputy had found some sort of drug in the parking lot outside the prison. An older white biker-type was being frisked and his worldly possessions cataloged. I stood there with my friend, unacknowledged, waiting for him to be taken back, watching the sad panorama of lives unfold around me. There are stone-faced prison personnel who visages bereft of human kindness --perhaps the defense mechanism that comes from any small show of compassion being exploited, there are those still in the thrall of addiction, whose minds have been forever altered by the damage of drugs. It all looks like the sad wreckage of humanity.

Perhaps saddest of all is that, due to overcrowding, all Christian services have ceased, at least for now. I pray that won't continue. There are men and women in our prisons who are ripe for Christ. Pray that we can bring him to them.

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