Adrian Torres Update

Adrian is at Mule Creek State Prison.

His address is:

Adrian Torres T30064
D17-C204-2 up
P.O. Box 409089
Ione, CA 95640

Adrian covets your letters, and please continue to pray for him as he serves the Lord in a California State Prison.

The website is owned and maintained by Friends of Adrian volunteers. Due to his incarceration, Adrian Torres has no access to the website and is unable to respond to any comments posted.
Comments are answered by Friends of Adrian volunteers.**


I’m not the greatest at math, but addition and subtraction are not very difficult. So I was a bit dumbfounded because the numbers just would not add up.

Once a month we (even those of us who are in Ad Seg, the Hole) are allowed to shop at the prison’s canteen. The Hole’s canteen list is severely edited; limits per item are enforced; we are only permitted to spend $55.00. One of the most noticeable differences between how the inmates in the Hole shop and the inmates in a regular facility shop is who does the shopping.

In a regular facility the inmate himself goes to the window of the commissary and shops for his own products, but in Ad Seg we obviously can’t do that. Instead an officer – probably the one who has drawn the shortest straw – takes our list to the canteen and shops for us. He, or she, purchases the things on our lists and packs them in a bag.

The bag is then given to inmate workers who transfer the items that are in plastic containers into zip-lock bags. By the time the items arrive in our individual cells all shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste, lotions, coffee, and the like are in unmarked baggies.  The brightly-colored liquids in the bags are actually beautiful. The light bouncing off the Colgate green gel toothpaste is mesmerizing; in fact, it’s so mesmerizing that one doesn’t even question the amount inside the bags as they are dropped, one-by-one, through the slot in the door.

As my items arrived, I was excited to see the snacks I ordered. I didn’t take inventory; I just put them all in a pile on my floor. As I began to put things away, I noticed that something didn’t quite add up.

I had ordered two Colgate toothpastes, yet I could only find one baggie. I went through the whole pile over and over, without success. The second toothpaste was missing. My receipt clearly showed that I was charged for two, but it just wasn’t there.

I had chalked it up as a loss when I noticed the bag of nacho chips was a little higher off the floor than it should be. I moved it, and there was the missing toothpaste, not in a baggie, but still in its tube. Bingo! But as I held the tube in one hand and the baggie in the other, there was a noticeable difference. The tube held 4.2 ounces of toothpaste, and the baggie had measurably less. I had no way of telling how much less, but I began to wonder about the shampoo.

The canteen list indicated that the shampoo was supposed to be 15 ounces, so I took my 8 ounce milk carton and began to pour. When all the shampoo was emptied into the carton, it barely reached the top. I did the same with the next baggie of shampoo, with the same result. Clearly, at least 7 ounces of shampoo was missing in each bag, yet I was charged for two 15-ounce bottles.


I then measured the 8 ounce coffee bags, and only reached 5 ounces each.


I wasn’t sure how widespread this conspiracy was, so I counted the 40 envelopes for which I was charged.


I knew I wasn’t great at math, but this was simple arithmetic. The numbers did not add up, but why not? My conclusion was that the inmates who were squeezing the items into the baggies were skimming from the top. They weren’t paid any extra to do this task for the Hole, so it seemed okay to them to take their pay from the products they were handling.

I wasn’t happy about the results, but I was powerless. Not only was I locked up in the Hole, I was also subjected to this unfair practice.

As followers of the Bible, we are admonished to give others our all; to give unconditionally, and with a pure heart. We are to be honest and full of integrity in our daily lives. Yet, only rarely does the world reciprocate.

We give our all at work, just to be shorted by another. We love our neighbors and go out of our way to be there for them, just to be shorted with ingratitude, accompanied by an attitude. We sacrifice our own wants to please our wives, girlfriends, or boyfriends only to be shorted by being ignored.

This world’s system seems to work on shorting others for personal gain. Shorting happens everywhere. Even though, as believers, we are strangers to this world, we still are affected by its shorting practices. But there is hope.

God does not short us. Our Creator not only has given us all we need, but abundantly more than that. More love. More mercy. More grace. More forgiveness.


This is why the Father sent His Son. He knew the world’s system would always be short of perfection. Nothing the world offered could ever satisfy a just God’s requirements, so He gave His Son as the only One Who could meet them.

If you ever feel like life has been unfairly shorting you, just remember the abundance from your Father in heaven. It’s way more than you could ever earn, or ever deserve.

Yes, more.

……..definitely shorted on hair follicles, too……

Adrian G. Torres

This blog was authored by Adrian who is incarcerated.  Adrian sends the blogs via US Mail to Friends of Adrian volunteers who post the blog.
The website is owned and maintained by Friends of Adrian volunteers. Due to his incarceration, Adrian Torres has no access to the website and is unable to respond to any comments posted.
Comments are answered by Friends of Adrian volunteers.**


I could not believe my eyes. The dinner plate that was being pushed into the tray slot was not the average prison dinner. The 4×4-Animal-style-with-Cheese In ‘n Out Burger screamed that this was not a typical dinner.

The paper plate struggled to lie flat under all the weight of the oh-so-juicy burger, but didn’t succeed. The Peanut M&Ms began to roll off the designated dessert square. Under the burger lay a heap of my favorite Carl’s Jr. criss-cross fries. I wasn’t sure how I was selected to receive this wonderful, artery-clogging, delicious surprise. But I didn’t care; it was mine and I was going to enjoy every single bite of it.

I took one last look at it, then I picked it up with two hands and folded it into my mouth. As I bit down, my teeth sinking easily into the tender burger, a sharp pain jolted me! It was my arm in my mouth!

It was all a dream.

A former cellmate of mine told me once that if dreaming about food was a sin, I would be the worst sinner of all. I dream about food almost weekly. In my dreams, I’ve eaten all sorts of delicious foods. I’m definitely a big foodie in my dreams, yet I always stay slim and in great shape (but not in reality.)

There is no need, however, to try to interpret dreams for I know exactly what they mean. They mean I crave all the delicious foods I don’t get in prison, especially here in Ad Seg (the Hole.) Our prison meals are based on trainloads of carbs. Potatoes, cornbread, and lots and lots of bread form the bottom of the prison’s meal pyramid.

We receive eight slices of bread daily. After 18 years behind prison walls, I’m no longer a fan of sliced bread. It’s just not good; it’s tasteless; it’s bland; it’s dry; it’s just not what I want.

I want flavor. I want spices. I want texture. I want meat that drips juices. I want cowboy beans with hot chunky tomato salsa on top. (I need to stop this reverie; my mouth just won’t stop watering.)

While in prison, however, I will get a lot of bread. Why? Because it’s filling, plentiful, and all we need. Bread is simple, basic and essential. For many around the world, bread is truly “the staff of life.” They may get little else.

The Word of God tells us that Jesus is the Bread of Life. He’s all we need. He provides us with all we need for our soul’s and spirit’s growth and strength. Yet we tire of it so quickly. We begin to seek the latest and greatest book, which will tell us the quick way to grow in Christ. We try to find ways to spice up our faith with the current movement. We try to flavor our walk with whatever ministry has gone viral. We reach out to feel the texture of the latest television preacher.

As we work on becoming foodies in our Christian lives, we leave out the Bread of Life; and, in the end, even though our life is filled with “Christian this” and “ministry that” we still end up hungry for more. Hungry for purity. Hungry for Bread that only the Word of God can provide.

Even though it’s not popular to say it, all we need is the Bread of Life, Yeshua the Messiah. He is our full-meal, nutrition pyramid. Our spiritual lives will be full with all we need from Him. No fancy-caviar book or trending pastor will ever get close to what the true Bread of Life will give us.

Stop chasing empty calories, and get back to God’s dinner table, which holds the Bread of Life.

What’s on your plate?

……..craving barbecued ribs……..

Adrian G. Torres

This blog was authored by Adrian who is incarcerated.  Adrian sends the blogs via US Mail to Friends of Adrian volunteers who post the blog.
The website is owned and maintained by Friends of Adrian volunteers. Due to his incarceration, Adrian Torres has no access to the website and is unable to respond to any comments posted.
Comments are answered by Friends of Adrian volunteers.**

Jedis and Lightsabers

I was already swimming deep in a pool of emotions. At every bang I got a little angrier. The next time he did it, I was going to give him a piece of my mind.

Ad Seg is a very dark place, and it’s not uncommon that inmates confined here build up resentment that expresses itself in violence – violence toward themselves and assaults on their cellmates. Due to this well-documented phenomenon, the courts have forced the prisons to check on inmates in the Hole multiple times per hour. To ensure this takes place, each door has a special sensor which needs to be activated each time an officer visits.

This sensor is activated by a special wand that looks like the handle of a Star Wars’ Jedi Lightsaber. As the “Jedi” officer makes his run every 20 minutes, he must activate the sensor by placing his wand tip directly into the eye of the sensor. The sensor recognizes the activity with a loud “beep,” and the Jedi moves on to the next Sith – I mean door.

This program is a “smart” part of the Mental Health Department. At 10 p.m. the “beep” is programmed to turn off and is replaced by a light. The officers keep checking the inmates, but the inmates can sleep. It has truly saved lives.

The Mental Health Department is very proud of the success record of this program; however, some disagree. The officers actually assigned to make the rounds don’t like it because it fosters an unbroken pattern of walking, along with interaction with the residents of the Hole. During the day the noise made by the Jedi Lightsaber being rammed into each sensor doesn’t bother me; the sounds become part of the fabric of my day. The problem arises at night.

The sensor is smart enough to know to turn off the beep so we can sleep, but some of the officers who walk this beat hate it, so instead of gently placing the Lightsaber next to the sensor, they ram it with malice. The loud echoing sound jolts us straight out of sleep.

The officer assigned to this task one night must have been irritated because the deafening noise created by each bang of his Lightsaber was over the top. All night I tossed and turned, not helped by some back and leg pain. His “taps” were causing some unchristian-like emotions. Every time the Jedi would ram the Lightsaber into the door sensor, I gained resolve to tell him off. I had had it, and he was going to know it! I rehearsed my clever words and holstered them, ready to use them the next time he came.

So I waited. The time dragged. Twenty minutes passed, then another twenty minutes. The pain in my back subsided and I began to get sleepy. I allowed my eyes to close, but before going to sleep I whispered to my Father, “I know it’s You who delayed him, and I know it’s You who’s allowing me to rest. I know it’s You…”

I don’t know how long I slept, but I was awakened by the sound of light footsteps walking upstairs. The Jedi was on his way up toward my cell. I no longer was angry, but I waited in anticipation for him to ram his Lightsaber into the sensor on my door. I noticed his shadow first and braced myself for the thud.  Nothing. The shadow moved onto the next door. Nothing. The officer was now gently making contact with the sensors. Clearly something had happened while I slept; I had no more need to confront him.

It should be obvious that to say anything would have been unwise. My emotion-driven anger would have resulted in unfruitful nonsense. Technically, I would have been described as out of control. As I mediated on what had just happened, the words of God from Proverbs 12:18 spoke to me, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

I believe God intervened and saved me from my rash tongue. With my pain gone, and while I slept, sense returned to the officer, and to me.

As I sat down to write this, I thought about not sharing it. I was embarrassed, but I have promised to share the pleasant and the ugly. And in this moment of “ugly” I learned a lesson.

Harsh words never solve anything, for they act like a sword. They hurt. They injure. They cause anger; kind words bring healing. When words are not possible, silence is the best option. And the first part of every trial is to give God every piece of my emotional anger.

I learned this important lesson during that night, and I hope my failure will be your victory.

……..dreaming about clone wars……….

Adrian G. Torres

This blog was authored by Adrian who is incarcerated.  Adrian sends the blogs via US Mail to Friends of Adrian volunteers who post the blog.
The website is owned and maintained by Friends of Adrian volunteers. Due to his incarceration, Adrian Torres has no access to the website and is unable to respond to any comments posted.
Comments are answered by Friends of Adrian volunteers.**


Zoo Visit

The zookeeper slowly approached the cage. He wore a face shield to protect him, and with paper in hand he examined the camel inside the cage; making notes, he moved on to the next cage.

Each zoo cage is about 16’x12’. There is a water source and a toilet. Twenty-four cages make up the whole yard. These zoo cages represent the Ad Seg (the Hole) version of a recreation yard.

For obvious reasons, we all need to be kept apart, so one-by-one (unless we have cell mates) we go into a cage. By law inmates in the Hole have to be offered a certain amount of “outdoor” time. These zoo cages serve that purpose.

Today I decided to make a visit to the zoo cages. I needed some fresh air and some room to pace, as I meditated on the Lord. As I was thinking about Him, I realized I was surrounded by animals.

Well…sort of.

Many inmates go by names other than their given names, and some of those names are the names of animals.

To my left was Camel, working out. The hump caused by his dislocated shoulder gave him his name.

To my right was Goat Head. He paced up and down as if he was lost.

Lizard was right behind me. His tall, slim body made him look like a giant lizard. He sought the sun and absorbed every ray of it.

Behind me, to my left, was one they call Chipmunk. That young boy could not stop talking. His jaw got more exercise than the rest of his joints combined.

Next to Chipmunk was Rooster. Rooster was serious about his workout. He exercised non-stop. The intense look in his eyes told of his desire to fight.

I think I also heard a Bulldog and a Hawk somewhere in the cages.

Today the cages really sounded like zoo cages. The combined noise from all the cages sounded like a pack of wild animals. But even though these men carry the names of animals, they are human to the core.

I’m pretty sure I was the only believer in the zoo cages today, and as I listened and watched I couldn’t help but think how the world has twisted its idea of a Creator. The world says all life has evolved from lower forms of life. That God does not exist. That the Bible is nothing but a book of stories.

Skeptics mock Genesis, saying that Creation, the Fall, the Flood and other stories recounted in it did not occur. They accept the explanation evolution gives, but don’t stop to think that evolution only raises more questions. We can expect this from those who claim that God doesn’t exist, but sadly many “Christians” are also abandoning the truths found in Genesis.

They try to find a way to “fit” evolution and the Big Bang into Genesis’ recounting of creation. They make literal days into thousands of years, then add indeterminate gaps of time in between them. The great flood of Genesis is not a worldwide flood. Adam and Eve were not created; they too evolved.

This is not only sad, it’s blasphemous.

Other than the Gospel, the information in Genesis is the most important part of the Bible. It’s the engine that pulls the train. If Genesis is not literally true, then we don’t serve a sovereign, promise-keeping God Who has everything under His control. He becomes a god of our imagination; one who relies on chance and hope. If Adam and Eve were not created by God, and chose to sin, then there is no origin of sin and death. And if there is no origin of sin, then we have no need of a Savior; this means Yeshua died for no reason at all.

We need to stop trying to view God’s Word through the world’s grid, and begin believing it without reservation. The Bible is true. It is God’s letter to man. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible speaks of an omniscient, loving God Who not only created the world, and created two people to live on it, but also never took His hands off of it. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, He provided a way back to Him – through His Son, Yeshua.

As I paced back and forth in the zoo cage, I prayed that the animals around me would hear of Jesus Christ and accept Him, for it is only through Him that they can become human again…saved humans, that is.

Believe God’s Word. It is 100% true.

……..lions and tigers and bears – oh my!……..

Adrian G. Torres


This blog was authored by Adrian who is incarcerated.  Adrian sends the blogs via US Mail to Friends of Adrian volunteers who post the blog.
The website is owned and maintained by Friends of Adrian volunteers. Due to his incarceration, Adrian Torres has no access to the website and is unable to respond to any comments posted.
Comments are answered by Friends of Adrian volunteers.**


Shower Time

The odor makes my eyes water. The walls are covered with dried clumps of hair and soap scum. The ¼” of scum lies silently at the bottom of the broken sink. To label it filthy and unsanitary is an understatement.

Ad Seg (the Hole) doesn’t have inmate workers. There are no inmates assigned to keep the common areas of this ancient building clean. In a regular facility inmates are assigned to clean the hallways, tiers, benches and showers. If left neglected, the showers quickly begin to smell and a layer of grime builds up. At minimum, showers have to be cleaned twice a day, and once a month they are deeply cleaned with floor scrubbers and heavy-duty disinfectant.

The Hole, however, doesn’t have the luxury of inmate labor; and you can bet your life the officers aren’t going to clean the showers. If it was privately run, the health department would shut down the showers here.

I have no options, so in order for me to wash I have to enter the dirtiest place in the Hole. As long as I avoid the walls, and keep my feet firmly in my shower sandals, I come out pretty clean.

The majority of the staff in a prison is jaded; they believe that no inmate really changes while in prison. They think a criminal is always a criminal. To them, those who appear changed are only playing a role; but they have never seen the transforming power of Christ.

I am witness to the fact that once-hardened criminals can be truly transformed. Men who never felt an ounce of pity for the victims of their crimes now have consciences, and hearts that ache when they upset someone. Men who once carried a gun, ready to kill, now proudly carry a Bible, ready to give the Words of Life. Men who freely took what was not theirs now unselfishly give of their possessions and themselves, knowing all are from God.

True change does take place behind the walls and razor wire of prisons. Souls are cleansed in the filthiest location society offers.

Prisons are filled to the brim with the filthiest, most sinful people. The darkness of sin lives around and inside prison walls. If sin had an odor the stench would radiate from prisons in plumes of thick clouds.  If sin had a vacation destination, prison would be number one on its list.

At times, however, God uses a filthy place, like a prison, to clean His own, just like the shower in the Hole cleans me. It is there He provides time for the Word to penetrate deep into a hardened heart; and it is there that His love, grace and mercy mold the once-hard clay, to create a vessel for His use. But….yes, there is a “but.”

Just as I must not touch the walls and floors that are covered with grime, the inmate must stay away from the sin that is ever-present in prison. By remaining clean, one can come out ready to serve, and live for, Christ.

Yes, prisons have a lot of filth, but God uses places like prisons to raise up some mighty men and women, who love Him and serve Him.

Please don’t doubt the power of God to change a sinful man, for it is that same power that changed you.

….….thinking it’s time to wash my armpits…….

Adrian G. Torres

This blog was authored by Adrian who is incarcerated.  Adrian sends the blogs via US Mail to Friends of Adrian volunteers who post the blog.
The website is owned and maintained by Friends of Adrian volunteers. Due to his incarceration, Adrian Torres has no access to the website and is unable to respond to any comments posted.
Comments are answered by Friends of Adrian volunteers.**


Sweet Melody

My emotions were in a tangle. I wasn’t mad or agitated; I was sad and happy at the same time.

Waiting in Ad Seg (the Hole) to be transferred is nerve-wracking. An inmate in the Hole can wait up to five months – or more, in some special cases – to be put on a bus. Every day one pays close attention to listen for his name announced from the weekly transfer list.

Ears perk up and the air goes still as we all try to hear the officer making the announcement. Whoops of happiness and cheers of joy can be heard from those on the list. But disappointment is also heard through the sighs and groans of those whose names were not read. So far, I’ve only been on the “groan” side – until last night. Well, sort of.

It was dinnertime and our plates were being shoved through our door’s tray slot, when something occurred to the officer. Looking past me, to my cellmate, he said, “Um, you made the list. You’re leaving on Tuesday.”

I moved into his line of sight. “Who, me?” I was hoping he was actually talking to me (you know, all Mexicans look alike, right?) I was hoping he was mistaken, because I’d been waiting a full month longer than my cellmate.

“Nah,” he responded, looking beyond me once again.

My heart dove to the pit of my stomach, but just as quickly it jumped right back where it belonged, out of joy for my cellmate. My heart was being pulled in two directions. My feelings were jumbled. I was happy, yet sad. The rest of the day I wavered between the high of happiness for my cellmate and the low of not making the list myself.

At night, trying to go to sleep, I began to pray and give my low feelings to God. I can’t remember how exactly I said it, but I was expressing to Father that I didn’t want to feel sad; I wanted only to be happy for my cellmate. I didn’t want my disappointment to lessen that happiness, nor to hinder me from praising God for His perfect providence in my life. I didn’t want to bring bitterness into the sweet melody for the Lord.

The following morning we were having a nice conversation about the things we miss most. Since he is an avid guitar player, he missed playing and making music. I had come to enjoy the way he always spoke about his love for his guitar. Almost daily he would bring up a function where he played his guitar, enjoying every minute of it.

That morning, as he recalled another one of his “Melody Memories”, I began to see why God had not yet snuffed the “low” out of my heart. I realized that to make sweet music on a guitar, one must strum, and pluck, both the high notes and the low ones. Both notes – strings – are vital to make pleasant melodies. If either one is left out, the melody would be forced.  So the guitarist uses both notes – highs and lows – to elicit from his instrument the music meant to be heard.

Although the disappointment was still real, I was able to embrace both the sad feelings, and the happy ones, honestly giving praises to the Lord through it. My joy that my cellmate would be leaving Ad Seg deepened, and my gratitude to my Creator became more vibrant. My heart was able to use the high and the low to make melody unto the Lord.

Life is filled with many highs and lows. Some are expected and some come as surprises; but God, being all-loving, allows these highs and lows to come into our lives so that we can take them and blend them, making music for Him. In order for us to know true joy, we must also know the lows, the highs, and all that is in-between. Using them together, our hearts can praise the Source of all true joy, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Are you facing a low right now? Well, use that low and combine it with your highs; praise the Lord with sweet song. It’s not nearly so sweet without the blend.


Adrian G. Torres

This blog was authored by Adrian who is incarcerated.  Adrian sends the blogs via US Mail to Friends of Adrian volunteers who post the blog.
The website is owned and maintained by Friends of Adrian volunteers. Due to his incarceration, Adrian Torres has no access to the website and is unable to respond to any comments posted.
Comments are answered by Friends of Adrian volunteers.**

No Laughing Matter

I tossed. I turned. I flipped. Nothing helped. I could not fall back to sleep. I wasn’t sleepy, and I had just finished a nice dream, so I knew I had slept for a little while, anyway. Now as I lay awake, I wondered how late – or early – it was.

Even in prison we try to keep up with world events. TV, radio, and letters from loved ones help us see, hear, and read about the outside world. With all the devastating natural disasters, and incidents of hate happening all around the globe, in a weird way those of us “inside” are safer than those “outside.” Our thick concrete walls keep us away from most of the natural disasters. Our distance from civilization removes us from riots and uncontrollable mobs. Prisons are rarely terrorist targets; the trip hazards in today’s fast-paced world don’t really make their way behind the high fences. Our snail-paced plodding continues, unaffected.

It’s a little different story, however, for those of us in Ad Seg (the Hole.) We don’t learn about world events until days, and sometimes weeks, later. When I learn of a happening while in Ad Seg, I slowly process it. Depending on the extent, my mind might ponder it for days.

Naturally, I use Scripture to filter the information. As many already know, I’m not one to be yelling from the rooftop about end-of-the-world events, not because I don’t believe that we are living in the end times, but because I simply don’t understand it all. However, the latest events I’ve heard about have made me take a closer look at my life to make sure I’m ready for Christ’s return. One of my mentors even wrote and said, “Jesus’s second coming is near. Keep looking up!”

All night I had been taking inventory of my life, and was praying about it. I must have gone to sleep without knowing it, and actually had a restful sleep; yet I woke up before dawn.

As I tried and tried to force myself back to sleep, I kept saying, “I wonder what time it is? Should I ask the officer next time he walks by? Lord, give me some way of knowing the time.” I was humoring myself because it really didn’t matter; even if I knew, I would still just lie there, praying and hoping to go back to sleep. Yet I kept repeating it over and over again. “I wonder what time it is? Should I ask the officer….”

You may not agree with what I’m about to say, or like it, but I believe that our Creator has a beautiful sense of humor, and He was going to show me a little of it. As I lay there, wondering about the time, this verse popped into my head, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

I almost lost it. I restrained myself from laughing out loud for my cellmate’s sake, but a snort or two escaped. I was so sure the Father had put these words into my head so I would stop worrying about the time. I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

At this point in my writing I usually turn it around and offer some Biblical advice or wisdom, but today, in light of all that is happening in our world, I only have one question.

Are you ready? The signs that we see are no laughing matter.

…….keep looking up……..

Adrian G. Torres



“Five in – five out!” the officer bawled as he walked the tiers. It was Tuesday night, and that was our cue to have our laundry ready to exchange. The officer would be by soon, and he wanted us at the ready.

Every Tuesday night the officers in Ad Seg (the Hole) come door-to-door handing out a roll of laundry. Each roll has five pieces: a shirt, boxers, socks, a towel, and a sheet. We are expected to return five pieces in exchange. The process is simple, but for a germ freak like I am, it’s stressful.

Laundry exchange day is like playing the lottery. We have no choice of the roll that is shoved into our cells, or the sizes of the clothes in the roll. Plus, the department that launders the clothes must use little water, no detergent, and jam-pack the clothes into the machine. The dark, stained clothing tells that story well. Winning a clean or newer item in the “Laundry Exchange Lottery” is rare, but when it happens we feel like luck is on our side.

I was ready with my five pieces when he got to my door. He slid the small tray slot open and squeezed the roll in. After it was in, I slipped out my five pieces, one by one, counting as I went. “I like it when you guys are ready,” the officer said as he moved to the next cell. I smiled out of courtesy, then turned my attention to my roll. It sat on the foot of my bunk like a burrito. I stared at it for a few more seconds, then picked it up.

A towel wrapped around the outside kept the roll together, and it smelled like a skunk. Its gray-brown color screamed “No detergent EVER!” I dropped it onto the floor. Then I began the “peel.” The boxers were next. I pinched the waist, and began to reveal my prize. They were a little brown, with a heavier brown color in the rear, but the worst is that they were two sizes (at least) too small. The boxers joined the towel.

Socks. They were tucked one into the other in a ball. That ball of socks lay directly on top of the last item, the sheet. The nicely-folded sheet surprised me by its very bright white appearance. I was excited, but first I needed to look more closely at the socks. I placed the sheet on the foot of my bed and refocused on the ball.

With two hands I unballed the ball and pulled out the first sock. It had holes in the toes and the heel. Plus, it was not a state sock – it was someone’s personal sock thrown away into the dirty laundry. The second sock was a well-worn state sock, but there was no way I could put my foot into that quagmire of germs. The socks joined the boxers and the towel.

My gaze then turned to the bright white sheet. I stood there in awe that somehow this beautiful white sheet made it into the hole. A passing officer noticed I stood there, with a contented smile on my face, looking at my bunk. He came close to the window, saw what I was looking at, and with an evil giggle said, “Looks white, huh?”

Looks white? His words startled me. There was something I didn’t know yet, but he did. “Sure does!” I replied. He walked away, and I could hear him laughing as he disappeared from view.

As soon as he was gone, I reached down to pick up the sheet. Nothing appeared to be wrong with this white, perfectly-folded sheet. I lifted it up to my nose and smelled it. No musky smell. No skunk smell. Actually, no smell at all.

Maybe the officer was trying to play with my mind. They like to do that. “That must be it,” I said to myself, as I grabbed two corners of the sheet and shook it open. A nice “snap” signaled its unfurling, like a flag on July 4th.

The horror before my eyes actually elicited a girly scream from me. Dropping the sheet, I stepped back. What was THAT? I had to look again.

I picked up the sheet and closely examined it. A large blood-brown stain in the shape of a body filled the middle of the sheet. Around the large stains floated smaller stain circles.

Either someone had bled to death on the sheet, or it was rusty from sitting on a metal shelf while it was still damp. Either way, the spooky stain gave me goose bumps. How could such a sheet, promising so much with its bright white edges, hide such an ugly, dead stain on the inside? This sheet was a two-faced hypocrite! Nicely folded, it looked perfectly put together, but inside it hid an ugly secret.

I think back to my life before I knew Christ. My polished life appeared to be perfectly put together. My friends often said they wished they had my life. Neighbors would wonder how I did it. My perfectly folded edges gave a beautiful impression. But what people saw was just that – the edges.

I knew how ugly and dead my life really was. I put as much effort into hiding my stains as I did looking clean. The juggle was dangerous, but it was all I knew. God, however, didn’t need me to unfold my life. He knew how dead and ugly I was inside. My perfectly-folded white edges didn’t fool Him. My empty soul and dead spirit could not be hidden from the all-knowing Creator.

Praise be to God that His love was not deterred by the real me. Not only was He there, He sent His Son to die for me – to save me. And the blood that He shed washed me clean, inside out.

What was stained and dead was made alive and clean. A whole new me was born, and there was no longer a need to hide. My shame was gone and my hope was born.

Our Creator wants to do the same with you. Are you ready to stop being a hypocrite? Give your ugly and dead life to the only One Who can change it.

He’s there.

……………….still playing “Laundry Lotto” every Tuesday……….

Adrian G. Torres


This blog was authored by Adrian who is incarcerated.  Adrian sends the blogs via US Mail to Friends of Adrian volunteers who post the blog.
The website is owned and maintained by Friends of Adrian volunteers. Due to his incarceration, Adrian Torres has no access to the website and is unable to respond to any comments posted.
Comments are answered by Friends of Adrian volunteers.**