Wow! My God will always continue to amaze me! I stay woe-ed and whoa-ed at the wonder of Him! He is beyond comprehension! Ever loving! Always faith-full! Endlessly compassionate! Forever caring. Continually stretching. A constant wonder!How GOoD He is!
How sweet He was to me today!
Full of fear still? Yes! But still, I went!
As crazy as my mind thinks, this is what was going through it. "There are people! EVERYWHERE! And, oh my, they're all walking around!"
Now, I don't exactly know what I thought they would be doing. And why them "walking around" surprised me so. Nor why it paralyzed me. I'm not sure. But honestly, I did not think that I would be able to make myself get out of my vehicle! I didn't know how I'd be able to do it!
Perhaps I didn't. But God did! And when it was time to (not a minute before!), I found myself walking the "8 miles" beside the wires that held the multitudes (or so it seemed!).... who weren't only standing there walking around,... but now, everyone of them were staring at me!
I heard one inmate holler to me asking if I were there for the Pre-Release program? Yes, I told him, I was. And for some crazy reason that calmed me. I guess I thought it was okay if he were expecting me. What I didn't know then, that I quickly found out, was that he (and all of the other multitudes staring) wouldn't be part of the Pre-Release crowd that I'd be talking to. Thankfully there were no vulgarities yelled. I felt that God had graciously (for me!) closed the mouths of the lions in their den. No disrespect intended. But I know that seeing a girl walking up after being locked up so long, surely provoked some mouths wanting to "say."
I got to the tower... dreading the "holler" that I was supposed to yell, but thankfully, the guard hollered down to me before I had to holler up at him. (Of course, on the way out I had to holler... and holler a whole bunch of times before he could hear. Oh, how embarrassing!!! Are you remembering that I have an audience of the multitudes watching me in their yard?!) He was all ready and set for my arrival. I had no problem at all getting in.
He buzzed me through the gate to a huge yard of I-haven't-a-clue-of-where-to-go-next opening. I looked back up him, asking him where I was going, and though he didn't verbally tell me, his hand pointed that way. I walked toward the pointing... and hoped I would find it!
After a few more miles (another exaggeration) I saw more inmates hanging around. Obviously these were the guys that I was being sent to. They, too, pointed the way.. and after what seemed forever I arrived at my building.
Woe, I opened the door with more people inside. A whole new bunch of them! Sitting around at picnic tables (set up for "visiting")... staring just like all the others had done! Every eye in the room held fast and fastened on me! Welp, at least I had their attention.
What to do next, I wondered?
And that's when I saw the director walking toward me. I've never been so excited to see someone I knew (or at least, someone I'd met before) in my life.
She introduced me in a lickity-split second, and boom, I had the floor!
All I know is that I opened my mouth not knowing what would come out... but to my excited amazement something did! I couldn't tell you what it was now. But it sure seemed to work for them then!
These guys were great. Perfectly attentive. They all smiled. Laughed at my weird humor. Nodded when they got my point. Awed every now and then at some points that hit harder. Raised their hands and commented along the way. I must say, I don't think it could have gone any better! I felt welcomed, heard, respected, and loved automatically. I liked them all instantly! I feel I now have their faces engraved on my mind. And now, as before, I would like to go back and talk with them again. I think this time it would be easier. And this time I could tell them how much more I care. Because this time, more than before, they're even more real! I now have a whole new bunch of boys that my heart bleeds for! I will hold them tenderly... each one in my prayers! I'll carry them to the foot of the Throne of Grace and beg God's mercy, His grace, His deliverance, His healing... they already have His heart and His love! May they feel more woo-ed to Him! May He draw them ever nearer! May He use them when they get out (and even while they're still there) mightily!
How can you love so deeply... guys you've only just met?!!! For already, they've stolen my heart.
"The Lord hears the needy and does not despise the captives" (Ps 69:33)!
Now... saying all of that... this is how I felt today: "Then the LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned with their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them... the cry of Israel has reached Me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go, I am sending you.. to bring My people out" (Exo 3:7-10).
Oh Lord, will you indeed release and free them! And set them free to stay!