The Message Of Reconciliation
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Co 5:16–19)
Over this last year, there has been violence where I serve at against both inmates and Correctional Officers. This has resulted in a many lockdowns and controlled movement. During these times men are locked into their cells for longer then they usually are and often the riot team is present. The riot team always brings a sense of tension to the inmates and at a glance, it often seems chaotic. Nevertheless, I have learned that order comes out of chaos. In one of these recent situations one of the inmates wrote this below letter and shared it with me.
This entire situation has me thinking about my family; how I miss them, and how impossible it seems that I will ever be with them again – without prison between us. I guess with all of what’s going on, it becomes hard to see beyond the present. I am so glad that despite what is in front of me, I know that I serve a God that can accomplish the impossible, and deliver anyone, from any prison. That being said, I do my best to see beyond what I’ve been sentenced.
I look to a day of being reunited with family, and operating in my purpose beyond prison walls. If nothing else, it has been proven to me that no matter how long, or how aggressively my body is locked down, no one but me, can lockdown what’s inside of me. I for one chose to be free. The fact is, I was in bondage long before I was ever subjected to a jail cell. The sad thing was that (like many others) I didn’t even realized it. I guess we really don’t miss the water until the well runs dry.
My bondage was to things that dictated my behavior, and my behavior in turn dictated my positioning in life, and my positioning put me in the wrong places, at the wrong time. No matter the circumstances – for me – a mental attachment to bondage soon materialized into my physical placement in captivity. Ironically, I was able to see my condition for what it was; when I became physically locked down. I guess I was moving too fast out there, and was too distracted to realize this before. I figure if it happened to me, it can happen to you.
I am not alone in this, I talk to men everyday who have shared a similar experience, some worse, and some less than my own. The Bible has helped me discover that my bondage, my being out of position, and even my behavior is all the result of a problem man had been wrestling with since “The Garden of Eden.” Whatever your take on this is, I simply refer to one aspect: Whenever man or woman rebel against the directions that are given by God – they will soon find themselves evicted from paradise.
I am not a scientist, but I do understand the scientific method. Scientist perform an experiment repeatedly, and if they get the same results, they take that to mean, something has been actually proven.
For a longtime, I’ve tried things my way, and each time, in some form or another, my way seemed to repeatedly lead me into some type of bondage, (bad habits, rebellious thinking, or growing addictions – just to name a few).
In my case, the bondage first formed mentally, before finally manifesting physically. It’s true that some never end up in a Correctional Facility, but that does not mean they are not bound up inside (while still sitting in their own living rooms). For some time now, I have been following the directions from that book I spoke of, and like a scientific experiment, I have repeatedly received the results it promises.
I have been reversed engineered – where my inner captivity was dealt with first. Today, it is my hope that this will eventually result in my “Physical positioning.” I say this because once my inner bondage was dealt with, it didn’t matter that I was physically in a Correctional Facility. Now, no matter where I am, I am free.
So now, as I focus on my “Physical positioning” it is not for the purpose of obtaining my physical freedom; it is to be in a specific, and physical position with my family. Once there, I am hoping to have an impact; I’m hoping to break any cycle of bondage; and establish a Godly foundation of freedom. I want to give the ones I love most, the gift that was given to me. So instead of focusing on the current chaos looming in front of me, I am here thinking of family.
Although I have many needs, I would ask, only this one thing of you. Whenever I happen to cross your mind…please send up a prayer. A prayer for my health, for my release, and for my physical positioning. I thank you in advance for that.
In closing, no matter how the court records, or history ends up portraying me, I would have you know from my own hand…I am a changed man, and that change was for the better.