By: Jana Greene, thebeggarsbakery.net
I’m thinking today of all the saints in the early church who prayed to you from the cells of prisons. Wrongly persecuted, they mustered their faith and lifted it to you, because they had been stripped of everything else they owned.
I know you’ve gotten your fair share of letters from prisoners.
Jails and prisons are often the venue in which lost souls lift their last remaining possession to you – faith – but the truth is that many have been stripped of that possession, too. Many, before even arriving for intake to be processed by a legal system, were already processed by another captor – Addiction – before ever setting foot in jail. Addiction is a thief of hope.
Today, I have a broken heart for a dear friend and Sister in you, whose adult son is both literally, and figuratively, a prisoner. He is addicted to drugs, God. He has reached the end of himself. Right now, he seems a shell of himself.
But a long time ago, this friend raised this man up by filling him with God- seeds. She took him to church, and youth group; she talked out her active faith in you….all the way forming rows as she raised him, and planting seeds in the soft soil of youth.
He is familiar with you. But he has made some bad choices, covering that fertile, planted ground with all the world has to offer, including substances that distract him from You. He has filled his life with all the plastic distraction that keeps the sunlight from getting in; that keeps the water of life from reaching the seeds.
Society sometimes has very little compassion for those who bring woes on themselves. Society forgets that it is only made up of infinite units of just the same kinds of people – sinners. It’s easy for them to open their bibles to the letters that Paul wrote as a prisoner, and feel compassion.
But you don’t forget to be compassionate, because you never forget that we are infinite units of people who sin, but whom you love dearly. All people must come to you from their knees on the floor of a prison cell, its only a matter of what four-walls constrain us.
Today, this man – this addict – is on the floor of a cell. I like to think he is calling out to you right this minute, but I know how stubborn addicts can be (being one myself) – I know how insane the cycle is, and how hard it is to let go of that tarp of denial we keep covering ourselves in.
But I am asking you – right now, in Your Holy Name, to crouch down on that prison floor with this man. Scrootch up so close to him that You feel familiar, that the seeds planted in his spirit in his growing-up-years feel like beads under his skin. Crack them open, and as they are opened, let him feel surrounded by love.
The supernatural feeling all addicts crave, that many addicts are willing to go to prison for – to die for – is only just a craving for you, Lord.
This young man is feeling the pain of the chemicals leaving his body, as we speak. Let the suffering he is experiencing be for the cause of one little Seed of Faith germinating. Fill up the space left by the chemicals, the hurt, the loneliness, the shame and pain. I’m sure he will remember you, God.
Be with his family, who is suffering beyond comprehension. Fill them up, too.
Since this precious son of my Sister in You is currently in no position to “write letters” in your name, and lift prayers from his broken spirit, mind and body, today I am interceding on his behalf. I ask that everyone who reads this to pray along with me.
For the addicts, the prisoners. The broken, the sinners. For my friend’s son.
Remind them that they are full of seeds of Truth, let them receive water and light, in their own personal prisons, and let those seeds grow healthy and strong and take root in You. So they can go out and tell other prisoners that there is life waiting to be lived.
Give them HOPE, Jesus.
In the name of the Father God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.