I reflected, I wrote, I cited biblical support, and I executed this month's message "God's Extreme Makeover" with poignancy, repetition and animation. And then I realized--- no amount of accuracy and expertise can guarantee that these women will really "hear" me. No amount of textual support or well-planted humor will cause these messages to penetrate the plethora or distractions that can so easily beset the minds of inmates. After all, when the message is done, I go home. And they? They go back to their cells. Nuff said. This is a real, true case of "'Not by might, nor by power, but BY MY SPIRIT,' says the Lord,"-- shall this word become living and active and transformational. I don't bring a message every month, but after a year of several messages, you wonder.... you just wonder: Is this DOING anything for them in the reality of their prison lives?
Then they came up to me-- 2 regular attendees who I love-- and said, "We were just talking about you this week! I was reminding her about what you said last month-- about 'where you are now does not determine where you're going--- and everybody can't come with you'! I told her," she said referencing the friend by her side,"that she needed to remember that this week cuz of who she's dealing with." They both smiled. I glowed inside.
I can't tell you the feeling.... the joy and the honor... of saying something that they remembered (from a month ago!) and applied in the middle of prison life. Truly, this was not because of my power or might, but because of the Spirit of the living God, present, moving and transforming lives at the ACI! Thank you, Chaplain Joy, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to God's plan for these-- God's most precious!