On March 16, 2011, at app. 1:50pm, a life changed forever. My friend was declared guilty of aggravated murder. The history of that verdict is long and very much debatable, but the result is a reality: a prison sentence to be served. The domino effect of that reality continues. Shattered lives are just now beginning to create a new semblance of “normalcy” as together, friends and family cope and deal with the new reality of everyday life without his unique intellect, smile and humor with us in person.
So we communicate with cards and letters of love and warmth, and he reciprocates from his holding place as he awaits his final home behind bars for many years to come. My fingers well up with tears as I type, but I claim (like a good Sunday School girl), All things work together for good to those who love God… (Romans 8:28). I can read that, I can say that, I can know it deep down inside but… it’s hard. I miss him. We ALL miss him.
He sends hand-written notes from his cell to us. He I am, living life normally: coming, going, not thinking about the fact that I am free. I AM FREE. I can choose. I can walk out my door, breathe the air, mow my yard, hop in my car and DRIVE ANYWHERE I WANT TO. My friend… cannot. And, as I read his latest note to us, I need to share it as an encouragement in a lot of ways.
Your card brought tears to my eyes twice. I shared the card with my “bunkie”. He has just received Christ as His Savior. God has allowed me to lead 2 men to Christ and strengthen another brother. As Tom Cruise said in TOP GUN, “This is a target-rich area.”
The power of prayer, as your card said (and as James 5:16 says) is powerful.
I have learned to watch for and be thankful for God’s blessings in even so many small areas: a window in my cell that I can see out that opens and has a tree right outside, an occasional word of kindness from someone, a nice “bunkie”, things like that.
I miss you guys and love you both.
Your brother in Christ,
Tonight, as I get up and walk away from my computer, I want to look around at all God has provided for me with more thankful eyes and heart – a deeper appreciation for all God’s blessed me with. FREEDOM… I have so much more to be thankful for than just a window in my cell. I NEED to live that attitude.
There by the grace of God, go I but, if I were the one in prison, could I still be thankful… at all? God chose my friend to do His work in a place few of us experience, and my friend is not only thankful, he is faithful and he is an encouragement to me.
“Go, and do likewise…”