Monday, May 14, 2012

Prison Dreams

Every Monday night my husband and I  worship with prisoners. It takes the evening to drive an hour and a half there, spend an hour and a half inside the prison, then drive the hour and a half home. Usually we go alone. It's very difficult to find people willing to go to a prison.

Often I don't want to go either. I quote the Bible to myself: "I was in prison and you visited me. If you do it for the least of these you have done it for Me."

Sometimes, I don't want to be a person who does it for Him. We could go once a month and still be going more often than most people we know, I tell myself.  Come on, Lord, can't I have time off for good behavior? When I am so tired tears flow from a rebellious heart, I get a bad attitude. After a day crammed full of interruptions and the needs of others, I have self-absorbed "stinking thinking".

On those days I simply go because of what's in it for me. Seriously. When I am weak, running completely on empty, down in the dumps and losing my grip, that's when God has to do it all. His words come alive in my head, His love opens wide my heart and I become the feet and hands of Jesus. And that feels more amazing than anything else in my life.

The things you wish you had a camera for: Empty eyes lighting up with jaw dropping, heart stopping awestruck wonder. Hands held high, praising the God who has required complete sacrifice. Bitter meth-aged faces turned youthful and hopeful. Grace like rain falling down on captives making them free.

It's not like the movies of prison you watch from your easy chair. Indescribable amazing joy drips off the walls of heaven into the prison. Prisoners are people God is wooing to Him. When there is nothing left in me, I get to see the everything of what is Him. I want that for me. I want the insight, the strength, the wonder and the joy for me. It's a dream come true. A big dream.

 Being with Jesus in a broken place gets messy. It takes consistency and determination. It takes planning ahead. And I want that for you. No, most people don't want to go to the prison. But you could. You really could.

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