I had had the best night! I had had the best day anticipating the night that was to come! But then, when in the moment.... it went better than I had even anticipated.
It wasn't anything new. It wasn't anything unexpected. It was my usual. It was what I now do every Monday night and Wednesday afternoon. But still... the moments get sweeter. What can I say? I LOVE my Princess-Warriors-in-Human-Disguise group of girls! I love our time together!
We have just finished studying the book of John. One inmate kept asking me if I were cold. I'd tell her "No," because I wasn't. But she'd ask again, telling me that she knew that I was, because I was shaking. I laughed when she said it. She's right. I was shaking. "But," I told her, "it's not because I'm cold" (though it WAS cold outside!), "it's because I am so excited to be here! Can't ya'll tell?" I knew that it was that obvious!
They all burst out laughing at my statement. Yes, they could tell! I had missed our last Monday night's meeting together last week, because my son had a Football Banquet, so it had been two weeks since I'd seen them. I had been excited all day. I was grinning all the way there just thinking of them. I don't have to tell them (though I do!) that I love them. My love for them shows loud in my actions without even trying to. I know they can feel it. And I know that they love me too. It's a priceless time together!
Bless their hearts, I talked ninety to nothing. They shared a lot also. We are all growing more and more and more enarmored with our Lord. I think every girl (me included!) in there longs to be more like our Savior. Knowing that God has a plan and a purpose. Knowing that we are His servants. Knowing that we are His skins that He lives in. And knowing that He wants to serve others through them.
Princess Warriors in Human Disguise.... because as His children we really are princesses! Warriors of His, because we are in a spiritual battle. We ARE princess warriors, yet still disguised in these skins. Human disguises until Heaven. If only we could see us as our Father does! If only we could see us as we truly are in His Kingdom as we are about His Kingdom's business.
We meet for two hours, but could have easily have met for two hours more. We weren't finished when it was time to leave. There was so much to share and be said in the short time that we are allotted. At the very end I reminded them a little of what I had written in the earlier post. That they are not just put there for what they've done, but God has them there still for what He wants them to do! I love their eagerness. I love their attention, their focus, their deep-thought in the things that we share. I reminded them that we don't need to only keep lifting up the already uplifted, that we don't only need to continue to encourage the already encouraged, that we don't need to only continue to teach those that have already been taught, that we don't need to continue to feed the already fed..... but that we need to have eyes to see the blinded to help them to see, the deaf to help them to hear, the lame to help them to walk, the robbed and beaten and left for dead man to help them to heal, even the evil that doesn't know Jesus and show them good. Jesus didn't come to heal the well. It is the sick that we are left here to help.
Why did I cry?
I was soaring from our night when I got in my car to come home. I almost always drive the whole 45 minutes back in silence. No radio. No cell phone. Either completely silent in awe and grinning. Or praying, thanking God for His GOoDness and His wonder and them and His Word.
I got in the car thanking Him. Praying for them. Thanking God for the opportunity. Thanking Him for opening the door for me to go in there. Thanking Him for how well the night went. Thanking Him for what all He teaches us. And telling Him how much I loved them. I didn't even get out of the prison's parking lot before I bursted out crying. Tears and the bursting heart that spilled them shut my mouth into silence. I just shook my head. I held my breath and widened my eyes trying to stop the spilling. Awed with them and my Savior. A silent still. But knowing, too, that sometimes silence speaks louder than words ever will.
When I got my voice back, I tried to tell God how awed I was. I prayed for those girls and their hearts. I prayed that He would protect them, grow them, mature them, captivate them. I prayed that as they went back to their bunks to lay on their beds that their minds would still be thinking of Him. That they would be praying to Him. That they would be asking Him what they needed to do? Who to reach out to? That they would be too filled with Him to have room to be blue.
I asked God to help them to bask in Him this Christmas Season. I asked Him to let them be so focused on His Son and what He had done that they had no room to mourn with sadness having to spend their Christmas behind bars again instead of at home with their loved ones. I asked Him to let their thankfulness be so full that others couldn't help but see it. I asked that they would be such a blessing this year, that they in turn would feel blessed beyond reason. I asked that their joy be full and that it could not help but bleed out onto others. I asked that instead of sadness for what they didn't have, that they were overwhelmed with gladness for what they did! Him! And in what our Savior has done! I asked that they could see and appreciate Jesus this year more than any year ever before. That really, that their joy, their gladness, their awe, their hearts, their thank-full-ness was FULL! Full to over the brim and running over! So that others would see! So that others could be touched! So that others could wonder what they had that held them and captivated them with wonder despite the prison they were held in!
I so very much love them, Lord! Oh Lord, please let them show Jesus!