A friend of mine from our church often writes letters to women in prison. She encourages them through writing. The women in the prison have started writing a newsletter telling others of the goodness of God. The newsletter is an outlet for their voice to be heard and their stories to be known.
This week I had a chance to transcribe those writings for the newsletter.
All I can say is that I was humbled.
I had to hold back tears as I read about the stories of these women. Many had endured rape and incest. Some had been abandoned by their mothers.
Thier stories are gory. They talk about shame and regret..
I read about one woman's struggle with drug abuse. She talks about how she sought a high to escape the realities of her life. She had been abandoned by her mother as a child and turned to drugs. She spoke of how she didn't really care about anything. She talked about how she would pray to simply die.
I'm so sad thinking of the plight of these women, but at the same time, I rejoice at the chance to help them in any way that I can.
We are called to reach out to the people in prison. Remember the story in the Bible about the sheep and the goats?
Their lives are dark.
While I was typing and transcribing this newsletter, do you know what happened to me?
I felt a heaviness on my chest that felt crushing. I felt a physical force literally trying to crush me.
It was the enemy.
He was not pleased and rightly so.
The newsletter is giving out messages of hope and freedom.
Of course the enemy is angry. Imagine a jail full of downtrodden sinners and hurting people..realizing that freedom is something from within. Freedom comes from Christ and if people locked behind bars only realized that..imagine what a difference that would make.
Imagine the healing that would take place.
I know that a lot of people don't have much sympathy for people in prison. I don't justify the sins they committed and I hurt at the idea that they may have hurt others ...
But at some point, the cycle of hurting has to stop.
That's what Christ does.
He breaks the cycle. He snaps it in half.
He gives hope the weary and heals the wounds of the broken.
Here is an excerpt from the newsletter.
Sadness all around.
I pray for the family who has endured grief and I pray for healing for all involved.
Her name is Anje. I don't know the name of the one who died as a result of the accident, but if I did, I would post it.. His name is worth mentioned.