For some time I've been trying to give our friends and supporters a glimpse of day-to-day life behind prison bars. I received a note from a friend this week who is struggling to keep his emotional bobber afloat despite a series of distressing circumstances. He was just a kid when he was placed in prison for life because of a terrible crime. But that was almost 40 years ago, and he has done an amazing job of making the best of a bad situation. He's an upstanding citizen now in every way, terribly sorry for his rash behavior as a youngster but determined to make up for it. He's a hard worker, he's doing things for others, and he now has his emotional and spiritual lives in order. That does not change the crime or the results however, and a judge and a Prosecutor and the families of victims will not hear of talks of a possible release. It's an uphill battle for him. With that hanging over his head, listen to what has happened within the period of a month: a close member of the family died and of course he could not be there; another close member of the family suddenly has become quiet and there's no way he can find out why; and tragedy resulted in serious injury to someone else very close to him. Is it any wonder that he's feeling down these days? You see, you and I have each other, in addition to our God, in times like this. He doesn't have the friendship factor.
And so I use this brief message to remind you, once again, that every individual in prison is more than a statistic. Behind that ID# is a name, a face, a person created in the image of God whose body and soul house the same hurts, feelings, emotions, dreams and heartbreaks that you and I encounter in our lives. Remember prisoners in your prayers. Remember those of us who interact with prisoners both with your prayers and your continued contributions.