By Roger Gerber, who serves with InFaith in Wisconsin
As I drove home from jail one Thursday night, I thought about the two people I had just talked with. Their lives are broken and considered to be “of no real value to society,” yet they are just the kind of people Jesus ministered to while He was here on earth.
The first listened to all I had to say. He had attended a local church, and all his answers were the right answers. It would seem that either our justice system had totally failed this “God-fearing Christian” or he was not willing to admit, maybe not even to himself, that he still needed to turn to God for help.
The second person was in tears, going through withdrawal, alone, and without hope. She was born in prison, has spent much of her adult life in and out of jail/prison, and was heading back to prison, soon to become a mother herself. She, too, had heard the good news about Jesus. All she wanted was prayer. I explained to her that out of His love, God often allows me go through pain so that He can change me for the better, in which case the pain is good. That day, she was still suffering from anxiety. She just wanted “to go home” (my words) to prison. A few days later I arrived at jail and was unable to see her because she was changing and preparing (having shackles put on) for transport to prison.
These two are a good cross-section of all who are incarcerated. Typically, they have no higher education and come from broken homes. Some admit they need help; others do not. In either case, they have no idea what life is about or how to change their lives. Most live without meaning or hope. Often they simply want to look good or to make the pain go away.
I may never see either of these people again, but I do know that they both need to seek the One who can heal the sick, mend broken lives, and raise the dead. Please pray for these two and the many others just like them.