I couldn’t come up with a witty title today, and since I wrote this yesterday, it’s called “yesterday” lol.
Today I felt passion again! I was in class and my professor said “it is said to be easier to get into Harvard than it is to get into the corrections academy in the state of California.” I don’t want to move to California and I definitely do not have the desire to be a corrections officer, but it was the reasoning as to why it was so hard to get into the academy that started my long thinking tangent today. The reason why it’s so hard to get into their academy is because California pays their guards pretty well, but the conditions in which they work are a few of the toughest prisons in the country. I DO want to work in prisons with prison ministry, counseling prisoners, and even parole.
I was on my way to church after class today, and I started thinking “can you really handle working in a prison?” This was not a question of my own, I know that I’m capable of it, but this is a question that I have been asked over and over again when I tell people what it is that I want to do with my life. Doubt began to creep in. As I made it to church a man walked up to my car, I rolled down my window and he asked me if I was here for bible study? I said yes, and he told me that he had been waiting for about an hour outside (I live in Michigan, it’s snowing pretty heavy here). I discerned that he wasn’t harmful and he had been invited by someone so I welcomed him to sit in my warm car instead of standing in the snow until someone came to unlock the doors. He accepted my invitation. We chatted a bit and went into the building. We shared testimonies today, and it turns out he was recently released from prison!
While others may have freaked out because they had just had an ex con in their vehicle, I was ecstatic thanking God that he had found his way to a body of believers that would love him as Christ does! To hear that he was walking down the street and heard music coming from the church that drew him in, and to hear that a couple of days later (today) he was standing outside with people driving by locking their doors as they saw him moved my heart. I truly thank God that I didn’t let fear or what people might’ve thought stop me from showing this person love.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a heart of compassion for people that society has written off. Recently, I was beginning to wonder if prison ministry was still a burning passion of mine or whether I was just going with the motions and committing to it because it was something I had spoken in the past. The justice system has given me so many disappointments in the past few years that the fire that I have towards believing that there was a way out for these individuals had died down a bit.
When this man told his testimony it’s almost as if something was awakened inside me again! I began to feel that passion to advocate and be support to those who have lost hope, and are thinking that prison is their last stop in life.
If God has given you a heart for something don’t give up! Don’t let anything stop you, don’t allow people’s opinions hinder you from blessing others. Don’t be afraid to speak up and most of all:
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV)