Monday, November 8, 2010

I went to JAIL last week..

Yeah, that's right..jail, prison, correction facility.  Whatever you want to call it I was behind bars! I never in a million years thought I would be there.  I had never been there before. I was there on purpose! I wanted to be there! It was something I will never forget. As I walked through the bars they would close behind me, then another set and another set.  I saw women who seemed to have lots of pain in their eyes. I saw women who were smiling. I saw women waiting in line to eat breakfast like little children waiting in line at school.  They were all dressed the same in prison mandated jeans and shirts. 

So, why was I here? I was blessed to be alongside a wonderful group of women from my church and others who had all come together in a cold place to bring the warm, good news of Jesus.  I did not know what my role would be.  I was not a part of the amazing praise team.  I knew I would not be giving the message to these women, that was done in love and grace by my pastors wife.  She shared the wonderful news of choices and being free in Christ.  She also shared a lovely story of Cinderella with a Christian perspective.  I sat alongside the inmates, still not knowing what role I would play, but listening to the message God had put on my pastors wife.  There was no condemnation, no blame games, no "I told you sos"! The most important thing that I heard and that I think spoke to these women was this...You can be more free in here than many people who are freely walking the streets this morning!

When she closed in prayer I went forward with a few others to council and pray with the inmates.  That is why I was there.  That day five women needed me to pray with them.  We prayed about strength, health, and the choices that two of them would be facing when up for parole in a few short weeks.  They were broken, but hopeful.  I'm still praying for all of the women there, but the ones that I prayed with I will never forget.

I want to go back to jail.  Yes, that is right.  Many of you reading this may think why? Or you may think I am crazy.  The next morning I read this verse,

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me....I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."  Matthew 25:35-36, 40

I know that this was confirmation from the Lord that He liked what we did, He wants us to do it again. I'm not writing this blog entry to pat my own back or say, "See, look what I did!" I'm writing this to encourage you to do the same.  It is easy, it is not hard, it's not scary.  There are many hurting people in every corner of this world who need to hear about Jesus, even those in jail who you think may have no hope.
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1 comment:

  1. Ashley, thank you for this post, a great reminder. Thank you also for loving and sharing Christ with these women! Where was this facility?


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