A prisoner leans forward to get his face in direct line with the few angled beams of sunshine that make it past the bars and shadows of a tiny cell block window, to feel the warmth and glow and pure joy that such a simple thing can bring.
Just behind him is an entirely closed off world of concrete and steel and darkness that never gets and will never get the direct light of a new day – because here, there aren’t new days, just more of the same.
Even on the rare occasion when he’s allowed out for an hour of recreational time, the sun feels different, because the beams are cut by chain link and razor wire, which mysteriously seem to lessen the healing and freeing power of the sun on the human soul.
Whatever happened in the prisoner’s life that landed him in prison, whatever his upbringing, whatever poor choices he made, it is too easy for you and me to thank God that we’re not where he is, that when the dice were thrown for our life, somehow, we got a better roll. All the while, we sit in our own private prisons in our minds and in our hearts, locked up there for years by our own poor choices in relationships, our addiction, our unforgiveness, sticking our heads out our proverbial tiny cell window to catch a ray of light from the Son. The prisoner’s cell may be different, but we’re both locked up just the same.
When justice prevails, or he’s served his time, and the prisoner steps outside the fence for the first time, in that moment he feels the sun shining all around him, without shadow, touching his face and hands and whole being with warmth and light – it is the feeling of freedom. These beams have traveled 93 million miles to greet him with hope and the silent reassurance that today is a new day, the first day of the rest of his life.
Here’s the only difference between the prisoner and us:
In his life, someone else held the keys to his freedom. For us, we hold them.
The prison door in your heart and mind that is holding you back from experiencing the fullness of Christ’s love and grace and mercy in your life gets unhinged the instant you take a step toward surrendering to Jesus. The Son is shining all around you, waiting to embrace you in the fullness of His love the moment you let yourself out of the prison of your past.
John 8:36 – So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Brand Director, STAR 93.3
I did 14 years in the Ohio state penitentiary system. I had called in around Christmas when angel tree was ministering to families in prison, and people were sharing testimony about their loved one being incarcerated.God has done so much since my release from prison, and showing his love and grace entirely. Thank you guys for sharing……. The love of Jesus is incredible
GOD BLESS YOU! Thanks for sharing this story of yours. I recently just started Kairos Prison Ministry Training with a Brother and Friend of Mine from Church.
That is amazing work, I’m sure God will use you in wonderful ways! Thank you!
Thank you so much for sharing, Gregory! It’s so encouraging to hear how God has changed your life. He is so good.
As I read your message, I thought of the mental prison that so many of us has faced. I am in my early 50s and quit wishing upon that star as I had taught my daughter. I live through her excitement now as each one of her dreams are fulfilled in her this far 28 years of life. As the old saying goes, if I only knew now …
I’m grateful we can find freedom in Christ at any stage of life!