Thursday, January 2, 2014

On holiday loneliness

How were your holidays?

There are many, many stories like this. But let me tell you about my buddy Jim.

He finally called me on New Years Day. Until that time, he had spoken with no friends or family through the entire holiday period. He had had no visits. Besides all of that, he didn't share any holiday time with any of the guys behind bars. You see, Jim is a marked man. He's a Christian man who followed his conscience, and when he heard another inmate boasting about how he had committed a murder, he did something about it. Until that time, the murder had been unsolved.

It's understandable that prisoners do not like snitches. But in Jim's case it has gone to the extreme. Word is that there's a $1,000 contract out on him. Someone has already tried to poison him, which required a race to a nearby hospital emergency room. Now, he pretty much sticks to his cell. He's afraid.

Jim should have been out years ago, because in an earlier case the state promised him that if he would testify in an important case, they would see that he would return to court for re-sentencing. He lived up to his half of the deal. The state just sort of forget their half.

So, Christmas came and went. The New Years holiday came and went.

Jim sat alone in his cell, accompanied only by fear.

No visits by relatives or loved ones.

No holiday cheer or best wishes.

Just fear. And loneliness.

It's a good thing he has Jesus.

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