Hurts, pains and prisons... they haunt me. I so wish I could help!
As for those girls I met and then came on here to introduce you to last night (see earlier blog)....Can you even imagine? I could hardly sleep in the comfort of my own bed, from thinking of them trying to sleep on the cold bunk of a hard one. You know? They've been in my heart and mind for so many years. I've often wondered and prayed for them. Last night though, made it even more real after walking behind razor-wired fences and into their territory and getting to actually see close-up some of their faces.
It's not the first time I've visited someone in prison, but it's been a VERY long time since I have. I remember my very first reaction. I began visiting a guy that I didn't know. I had begun writing to him at the request of a co-worker and with our correspondence we quickly became friends. I was in college. He was college-aged. His name was Buck. And I remember being so taken aback by that first visit by the fact that they all looked normal. All of those on the inside, looked just like us on the out. That's when it hit me the hardest. One stupid decision (or even the result of a whole lot of them) landed them inside a place that they never could have fathomed truly being. Locked-up inside and caged as if an animal always haunted me for them... and obviously haunts me still!!! We all have our 'stuff'. We all have our prisons.... often because of our own very bad decisions. It's just that most of us get away with it. We either don't get caught, or society doesn't warrant it bad enough for a seeable prison behind physical bars.... but I assure you, prisons still the same!
I'm not saying that there aren't some of the meanest people in the world there, those that have done the most horrid of things imaginable, those enraged with evil, and that in order to keep society safe from their violence-ness that it doesn't warrant a good reason for putting them there. But what I know, too, is that they're horrid for a reason. They rage on the inside from hatred or bitterness and hurt and a roaring rage inside that cries for revenge on anyone within reaching distance of them. It's not right what they've done, but it results from a deeper problem than just meanness. How I wish I could reach inside and remove that seed of sin that controls them. But not all of them are evil. Some of them just royally messed-up! And they're now sorry they did what they did.
Back to Buck for a minute. He was released from prison on the day I got married and so came to my wedding. The sad part about it is that I got married on a riverboat and he missed the boat by a very few minutes. Awww.. bless his heart!!! I didn't know he was coming! I would have had them hold it for him if I did. Surely, that had to make him feel even more horrid. Man, thinking back to all that now, I learned SO MUCH from that guy! He helped me to see things that I'd never seen before. He opened my eyes to the details. He reminded me to appreciate what I too quickly take for granted. Precious! One thing that sticks with me about when he got out was his enamoration of colors! His mom had taken him to the mall to go shopping and he told me that he had grown so accustomed to seeing things only in grey and white that the colors were overwhelming. White was all they were allowed to wear, and it blew his mind seeing such colors everywhere! How do you choose, he wondered, with so many choices to make... especially after being in prison where every 'choice' was previously made for you?
Wonder what our first view of Heaven must be like? Wonder at all the colors we'll see there! Pure unadulterated beauty!!! No longer confined behind human-skinned-bars. Total freedom! No longer blind to what we aren't privy to see here. Finally, face-to-face with our Savior!!!!!! No human eye has seen, no mind has imagined.... the beauty that awaits us!