I was having lunch with the President of Crossroad Bible Institute. I had served on a committee with Dr. David Schuringa, and it seemed to me that we had a lot in common, and that we should get to know one another better. And so the luncheon meeting.
We hadn't gotten far into the discussion while breaking bread before it became very apparent that we have a mutual love for prisoners. Granted, his organization emphasizes helping the prisoner with his spiritual issues, and our organization emphasizes helping the prisoner with his physical and mental issues, but we're both helping prisoners...and our interests overlap. Dr. Schuringa pointed out that, while his program centers on Bible studies for prisoners, he and his staff quickly learned that they could not, then, ignore other issues. And so Crossroad Bible Institute is expanding into the area of advocacy. With that, our conversation became animated. HFP advocates on the local level, down in the trenches...CBI is advocating on the state, national and international level.
But now, to the subject of this entry.
Dr. Schuringa told me that while he was serving as a seminary professor, he was encouraged to visit prisoners. He had never been in a prison. He did it, he loved it. And his conclusion, after mingling with the guys behind bars: This is the kind of gang that Jesus would hang out with.
I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but I, too, experience such enjoyment when I'm visiting with a group or prisoners, male or female.
No question about it. These would be the pals of Jesus.
In fact, they are right now.