Dan Rooks and I are scheduled to speak at the Thumb Correctional Facility this Wednesday. Dan is a clinical psychologist and is chairman of the HFP Board of Directors. He has a genuine passion for prisoners. He conducts regular group sessions in one of the state prisons. He and I will make a good team Wednesday. We both have a heart for these guys. We've spoken to prisoners before, and the rapport is great.
There's only one problem.
The state can't handle the number of prisoners who want to hear us. I'm told by one of the guys that we'll be able to speak to about 50 prisoners from the youth division, and about 125 of the old-timers. The session, being arranged by the chaplain, will be held in the gymnasium. Inmates were asked to sign up, the lists are full, and more prisoners still want to attend. I don't know if he was joking or not, but our friend James said that some of the guys are offering to buy a seat in the meeting.
This is getting serious, and now might be the time for me to start getting nervous. Nobody ever stood in line to listen to me speak before. I sometimes joke about the time my voice couldn't be heard, and I shouted out to the people in the back of the room, "Can you hear me?" "No," they replied. And some grumpy guy in the front said, "I'll trade you...I can hear him!"
I told Dan that now I'm starting to feel like Moses when God asked him to be a leader. What if I get tongue-tied? What if I stutter? I told Dan that he could be my Aaron, and I'll just let him be the mouthpiece for both of us. I don't think he'll agree to that.
The point is that prisoners know who their friends are, and Dan and I are honored by that. Pray that both of us say good things, meaningful things, helpful things, inspirational things.
After all, we're there in the name of the King.