So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,… The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. Joshua 10:13.
I’m sure we’ve all had experiences where we wished time would simply stand still.
I clearly remember a time in my life when my world was crashing all around me, and I was about to lose my business…a business I loved. Marcia and I had taken a short getaway in Florida before everything came to an end. On our last day there, as I stood alone on the end of a dock, I wished time would stand still. I didn’t want to face the music.
Let me explain the reason for this blog…it all stems from a recent prison visit.
I was part of a group of three who went to prison not only to discuss business, but to just share love and concern with a prisoner who has been wrongly convicted. Having spent more than 15 years behind bars for something he didn’t do, Mr. D treasures visits like these.
And while there, observant reporter that I am, I watched some other scenes.
I saw a daddy in prison blues playing with his little son, not much more than 2 years old. It was a tender scene. The little boy was good. His mother was patient and kind. But his dad couldn’t get enough of the toddler. Playing with him. Carrying him. Walking, hand-in-hand, around the room.
I saw a young couple obviously in love. Somehow, I don’t think they were married. The young man didn’t look like a criminal. And his girl-friend wasn’t the kind of floozy that you might think would be frequenting prisons…she was classy, attractive, and well-dressed. They were starry-eyed. There were enraptured gazes and bubbling conversations.
Somehow, I think Mr. D wanted this time with his friends to stand still. I honestly believe that the young father wanted time with his little boy to stand still. I’m convinced the young man whose lover came to cheer him up never wanted to stop looking into her eyes.
But that’s not the way it is in prison. Friends, family and loved are forced to leave. Prisoners who experience the joy of visits are harshly ushered back into reality by undergoing the humiliating mandatory strip search before returning to their rooms. And, unlike in Joshua’s time, the day comes to an end.
Prisoners aren’t statistics, they aren’t an inmate number. They are real people with real faces and real names. Their feelings and emotions are no different than yours and mine.
Just one short experience in the visiting room and your life will never be the same.
I started with a verse from the Bible, and I’ll end with another. Thankfully, all prisoners, and all of their loved ones, can look forward to this day:
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4