In Unexpected Places


Hapgood_Pond_-_Flickr_-_USDAgov    This is not what I had planned for this morning, writing this.  I am a planner by nature and rigid in sticking to a schedule and staying on time.  My plan for today, since I had the day at home alone, was to finish some work in my office and I’ll try to get back on it as soon as I can.  But I had to share this days feelings with my friends.

My morning ritual is coffee and reading, news, Bible and any other books I’m reading for Fight Club, and today was no different with one exception.  I have a pen pal of sorts that I write to in prison.  I have never met this man face to face but we have become quite close over the last few years.  He has serving several years and will serve several more.  I do not know the nature of his crime because it doesn’t matter.  A while back, I was asked to send a letter to this man who, just as he was starting to draw closer to God, gets arrested and sent to prison, the request was to try and raise his spirits and help him not lose the the relationship he was just starting to get a grasp on.

See, I was asked to help keep his faith up in a very bad, very dark place.  This morning as I read a letter received yesterday from him, I was overcome with emotion.  He was doing for me the same thing I was trying to do for him.  After reading the letter, I had to pray, and ended up in tears, thanking God for using this man to show me the very bad, very dark places I’ve been and how God the Father can use an old peculiar guy like me and an inmate in prison to compliment each other in our walk with Christ.

The tears and the prayer were very real and very happy.  I’ve been convicted the same as he has of my prejudices and sins against people and I’ve been imprisoned in a jail of anger and hatred, not with bars and locked doors or guards, but a jail all the same.

This morning as I prayed and cried, I gave thanks and praises to the Father who, even as I was sinning, loved me enough to show me the places I needed healing and deliverance.  I thanked Him for placing me where He did, when He did and surrounding me with a body of believers who helped me face the prison of sin I was in and gave me the strength to face it head on.

He did it by sending me into the jail.  I still have trouble at times understanding why God chose to send me there, but as I read this morning and shed tears, I felt God showing me that His reason was so boldly and beautifully simple.  I am not equipped to do this thing He has me doing.  I struggle, I doubt, I fall over my words at times, yet I look forward to going every time.  God chose to show me my sins by making me face them head on, to kiss the dragon so to speak.  And only with Him, only through the grace and love of God and through the blood of Jesus can I do this thing that alone, I could not.

As I cried in prayer this morning, I was overcome with love and peace, feeling just a little closer to God, who loved me enough to send Jesus to die for my sins.  It should come as no surprise that I still have a lot to learn and live through.  Today, I’m a little bit more excited about the adventure and the purpose that He has in store for me and mine.

Thanks to my friend in prison, I hope that you know that by your actions for the Kingdom, you are already free, and thanks for helping set me free as well.



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