Another inmate told me this... "We're no different than anybody else. Others are no different than us. Anything that any of us in this room have done... it could have happened to anybody if under the same circumstances."
She told me that people used to call her Barbie. She's tall. Blonde. Her hair now short from what used to be long. She's still pretty. Beautiful! Has great facial features. Nice cheek bones. A good figure. I could tell she was nervous. I liked her instantly.
Initially she sat as far across the room from me as she could. Before our time was done, she came and sat in the very next seat right next to mine.
I could tell she wanted me to like her, accept her, not judge her. As I mentioned in my previous post, we were having a Bible Study slash Preparing them for Future Employment time together. I learned that she was athletic. Liked sports. Was once good at it. And was a former Life Guard on a beach somewhere.
It was also obvious that she was scared of the outside. Not wanting to stay on the in.... But really afraid of getting out. Scared of rejection. Scared she'd be judged. Scared that she'd be passed-over for another because of her past and something she'd once done.
As she prepares for possible parole and thus planning for employment she's afraid of how the "outside" will see her, think of her, treat her. She's afraid she'll be shunned, that she won't be given a chance, that no one will see her past her Past... the thing that she'd done, the thing that she's serving time for. She's afraid that when her time has been served, that she'll still be serving time on the out. I wanted to tell her they won't look at her differently, but I couldn't, because I was afraid that most will.
That's when she said, "We are no different than anybody else. Others are no different than us. Anything that any of us in this room have done... it could have happened to anybody if under the same circumstances." And if not but for the grace of God, I'm afraid that she's close to right. If we had been born where she had, lived in the same abuse, been taught and brought up as she was, been exposed to what she was exposed to, had the same role models, got caught and trapped inside the same pits..........
We all have sinned. Is any worse than another? The punishment would have still been the same (Hell). The penalty cost just as much (Jesus' death).
It's hard to imagine "Barbie" on the beach now. Satan accomplished with her what he willed: "The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy." He succeeded in his plan. But it didn't end there. Just as the enemy 'comes', Jesus also 'came!' He came to give Life, and to give it abundantly (John 10:10)! He came to ransom, to buy back, to deliver, to redeem, to save, to restore! So though, Barbie now lives out her sentence in prison, she's free! Released from the chains that once bound her! And wanting to now live in the victory of her Lord!
Another inmate before I left said, "You know those people you pass walking on the side of the road dressed in white? I never thought I would be one of them."
I am realizing more and more that none of them did. None of us do. We'll flirt with the enemy, walk too close to the pit's edge, tempt the devil, taunt evil, eat the forbidden, play in the enemy's pasture and enjoy our fun, sow seeds of wrong... and somehow never think we'll get caught, never think we'll be trapped, never think it'll happen to us. The devil is good at his deceit. May we pray more asking God to open our eyes to the danger that lurks, and to give us the sense to turn from its bait so we won't get caught in it's trap!
Last week the key verse that our preacher used in his sermon was this, "The prudent (the wise) see danger and take refuge, but the simple (the foolish, the open-minded) keep going and suffer for it" (Proverbs 27:12).
Let's start seeing our danger and take refuge in our Savior, and not act as the simple man does that keeps on going in his path of destruction even after the danger signs flash and so suffers the consequences because he refused to heed to the warnings.
I'm sure that Barbie saw the signs, God is good to warn us. I'm sure she'd advise any that would bother to ask her NOT to keep going on the road to disaster. We're sure to "suffer" for it, to be punished, if we do, if we're too stubborn to listen to the warnings to tell us to stop, to quit, to turn aside, to turn away, to turn around, to run, to flee.
"It could happen to anybody"? If some of us don't stop... it'll happen to me... it'll happen to you. Heed now to the voice of your Savior before it does and it's you that's making that statement!
On a sidenote before I hush, should the Spirit move you to, please pray for these girls that are in prison here.