After Prison

coffee22.jpgI went to prison the other day.  This particular prison is about thirty miles from our city.  For a couple of hours, I spoke on some basic life skills in a section of the prison that serves as the prison school system. This was not a sermon or Bible study.  However, this was an opportunity to communicate some basic truths about life, family, and character.

There were 25 to 30 women in each classroom.  I spoke for an hour in one unit and then spoke for another hour in another unit.  These women were well-behaved, alert, and gave lots of feedback.

There were some similarities in each classroom.  Each room was full of women inmates dressed in white uniforms and prison-issued, olive-colored coats.  Many of them had been in this prison for years.

As I looked at these people, I wondered about their stories.  I was thinking about why they were in prison.  Rather, I wondered about the home life of various inmates.  Did she have a dad?  A mom?  Did someone love her as a child?  Was someone attentive to this child?  How was this person raised?  Of course, I can speculate but I don’t know the answers to these questions.

I did leave this prison late Thursday afternoon grateful that I had spent some time there.  More than anything, it was a reminder that there are many people I give little thought to as I go about my life.  I thought about the story in Luke 14 of Jesus eating at the Pharisee’s house (where incidentally, he was being "watched").  Jesus said, "… But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.  Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."  Jesus had a way of remembering the very people that others had forgotten.

I’m curious.  What comes to your mind when you think of forgotten people?  Any particular population of people?  Any particular situation?


Let me encourage you to read the comments from a post from last week.  These comments are outstanding.  (Please read them especially if you are involved in some sort of congregational ministry.)  You can read them here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “After Prison

  1. I think of the elderly, particularly those who are unable to live independently.  I have worked in nursing homes in the past and many of the residents seem to be forgotten by almost everyone who used to be a part of their lives.  In our society, it seems that once you no longer function in what is considered a "productive" role, you just don’t matter any more.  It’s very, very sad to me.

  2. I did prison ministry for about 3 years and loved it.  It was just me and 120 male inmates on Sunday afternoon worshiping God together. It was one of the most exciting times of my life.  God is really working in the lives of some of those inmates.  We need to pray for those who are working in prison ministry and for the inmates who become Christians.

  3. Connie,As I read your comment I thought about an "older" man who I visited with not too long ago.  At one point, during his "productive" years, people were clamoring for his time, his opinion, etc.  No more.  I thought about how difficult it must be now for him and others in nursing homes.

  4. I am active in the women’s prison ministry and find it to be a blessing to me.I leave the unit’s with a refreshing view of life.We are so fortunate to get up each day and share our love with our spouses and children and families.These precious women behind the wall are most saddened by the loss of their families and miss their children more than their freedom.I have also met some of the most powerful women of God behind the walls of Gatesville and Hobby Units and will continue to keep them and their families lifted up in prayer.We must remember that the only difference in them and us is that they got caught!

  5. I have been going to Ridgecrest for some fifteen years now. Sometimes two or three times a week to see my sisters. Over the years I have taken time to speak, look at pictures and just share some words with the residents there. They are all so happy just to have someone say a few words to them. Some are truly forgotten souls.