A three legged dog walks into a bar, he looks at all the patrons while he asks with a southern drawl, “Which one of you shot my paw?” There was not one laugh in the room, so I repeated, “A THREE LEGGED DOG WALKS INTO A BAR”…loudly, okay, now a few giggles could be heard out of the 37 women in orange. Its okay, I said, “If you don’t laugh, it wasn’t my joke anyway.” Although nobody laughed at my joke, I wouldn’t go back and change it if I could. You know many of us could spend our time picking at what we did in the past or we can come to the conclusion, we did what we did because that was what was on our mind at the time to do. Most of us don’t go making mistakes on purpose; we only realize it later. The Bible uses words like; stumble, fall, drawn away, and tempted. These sound like words of happenings, not intentions. I shared with these ladies what changed my way of thinking into a productive way of life. Learning the hard way, of course, but the Bible says in several places that God is the God of right now. He calls Himself the “I AM” to Moses when he asked who was sending him to lead God’s people out of bondage. In Psalms and Proverbs he says, “Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, how then can man understand his way?” God has a plan, we can’t understand it, but we trust Him to work it out. How many times have we been somewhere, saw someone and couldn’t believe we were both in the same place at the same time? That’s God!
I often think this when I get the opportunity to council these precious ladies in jail. They have crossed my path for God’s purpose. As one of these ladies asked to meet with me, she brought a book with her that she wanted to share with me. But she turned it around on me; instead of me helping her, she wanted to help me. Lately, I have been inspired by a situation at work that has caused me to pray for a lady and to seek God in an impossible quandary. So, here is this inmate ministering to me, telling me to write a letter in order to resolve the problem; so I wouldn’t be hurt by her anymore. Needless to say, I was taken by surprise and it made me tear up a little because this precious inmate was thinking about others, which is the very thing God does. She was happy to pray with me without my prompting her and so we prayed for each other.
I had received several notes but only managed to talk to two of the ladies. I know God had them picked out and ready to go, even though I didn’t know who to talk to first. This next lady said she got put in isolation because she had an allergic reaction to the wool blankets the jail provides. She then was given a chemical bath which only escalated the blisters into a frenzy. The darkness, pain and aloneness were too much for her to bear at first; she talked to a male inmate who was also in isolation and was given the opportunity to witness to him. At times, she said, he sounded like a demon, and then he would ask questions about God but would cuss the whole time. She was amazed at the scripture that would proceed out of her mouth. Something happened to her while she was in the hole, and it was good. She said to me, “I feel really good and I don’t feel depressed anymore.” She was so excited to come to church again and to be with some of her old cellies.
Like her and all of us, we learn to use these opportunities for faith, and maybe God is bringing this or that person to our attention so that we can pray for them. We need to grow up and realize God is preparing us to take over the family business. Do we have the same passion and hearts’ desire that God has? I hope they learned how to take each thing in our life as God meant for it to happen just like it did. Romans 8:1 there is “NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” It’s about trusting God for what He is doing, when He wants to and how He wants to do it. He made the whole world without our help. It’s not about us, but it includes us. We couldn’t have done it any other way.
Written by Tracey