Thursday, May 10, 2012

I was in jail...

Some of you know a month ago I was in jail.  I spent 3 ½ days in jail.  It would probably shock some of you to learn I enjoyed every second I spent there; and I’m thankful God sent me there.

I was not alone, I was there as part of the Kairos MS team, with one big goal in mind, to bring God’s love into the lives of these women inside the prison.  That simple was our mission, to bring God’s love.

As anyone would guess, I had my own prejudices and fears before going in.  After all, these women are in there for committing a crime.  But as the time grew near, I found my fears and prejudices were changing.  I wasn’t afraid of getting hurt while in jail, I was afraid that I would get in the way, that I would allow my humanity to overshadow what God was trying to do thru me. 

I was blessed to go as part of an incredible group of volunteers who are passionate about this ministry and who were willing to share their experiences with me.  So I figured, if they continue to serve, it must be a pretty great experience, right?   
To say I was blown away by it would be an understatement.  There simply are no words that can express the experience.  I spent 3 ½ days inside a prison, laughing, crying, sharing with inmates and loved every second.   When the weekend came to an end, I was sad.  There were good byes and there were tears.

Since I left the prison, I have thought about my sisters in Christ that are inside CMCF.  I wonder how they are doing, what their life has been like since their Kairos weekend.  Some of their faces pop into my head more often than the others.  I figured God is telling me I need to pray for them individually.  So I usually stop and pray. 

I learned during my weekend in prison we are all just one bad decision away from being in jail.  Just one.  We have all made bad choices in the past.  Some could have landed us there, in jail, alongside these women.  We were blessed to have someone in our lives “who knew better”; who watched over us and directed us.  Some of these women didn’t.  But hopefully now they have Christ.  And with Him by their side, they can do anything.
Christ was there that weekend.  Only He could take my prejudices and turn them into love.  His love.  I hugged these women and felt His love pass from me to these women.  Going into this weekend, I didn’t know what crimes any of these women had committed.  I honestly didn’t care to know.  They have sinned and their sins are public, and out there for the world to know.  But we are all sinners, and all of our sins are the same in God’s eyes.  Christ died for their sins just as He did for mine.

Since I left the prison, I have found out what their offenses were.  And you know what?  It hasn’t changed my experience, or the way I feel about these women.  They are His daughters too.  He loves them as He loves me.  And they are worthy of my prayers too. Each has a place in my prayers and my heart.

I’m so thankful God called me to serve Him inside that prison, on that weekend, to those women.  So incredibly thankful for the opportunity and for the blessing.  I ask, next time you are praying, pray for the inmates inside CMCF, pray for the Kairos volunteers, and for all those who minister for those inside prison walls.