The ravenous monster was madly attacking my testimony. Without warning, it was biting my neck, choking my Christian life away
and it all started with a package of Top Ramen.
Prison is a world of its own, with its own government, laws, history and economy. Some have “outside” help from family or friends who send “care packages” and funds. I’m immensely blessed by all of you, so I fall into that category. But a large percentage has no one on the outside; these must ask, and even beg at times, for help from other inmates.
Because of all my blessings, I’m always willing to help in any way possible; and at times, the Lord has roomed me up with someone who has nothing. It then becomes my honor and humble pleasure to offer everything I have – whatever is mine is now his, too. So the chokehold I found myself in took me by surprise.
I heard that my current cellmate had been going around asking for help; some soup; a squeeze of shampoo; a sliver of soap; a squirt of toothpaste. Some began saying that I was not helping my cellmate, and soon the rumor became a testimony-choking fire. I was called stingy; a fake Christian. Battered and bruised, I sat down with my cellmate. “What if I was a homeless beggar, and a wealthy actor took me in, clothing me and giving me the keys to his home; wouldn’t I lose the need to beg on the streets? Why, after looking at his cabinets full of food, all available to me, would I close those cabinets and return to the streets?”
As I waited for his response, I thought about how believers today act the same way. Spiritually, we were homeless beggars trying to live on moment-by-moment tidbits from the world. But when the King of Kings adopted us, we became rich! We were given free access to His wealth; we were adopted as sons into His family, giving us access to His unlimited love, grace, and mercy. Yet we continue to beg for the world’s version of all He has given us in Himself. We seek love in the physical; family among the lost; mercy from the merciless; grace where none exists.
We call ourselves children of the King. Adopted. Freed. Found. Forgiven. Yet we continue to live as beggars. We spurn His gifts. We throw on our dirty rags and go panhandle in the world. Why?
I asked my cellmate a similar question, “Why do you go out and ask others, when our cell has all you need?”
“It’s what I’ve always done,” was his answer.
I understood, for even as believers we are tempted to return to what was before “normal” for us. But in Christ we no longer belong to that world. We belong to the One Who disrupts our lives, roots us out of the path we were on, and replants us on His path. It leads to fullness of joy, blessing, and abundance. At first it doesn’t feel “normal”, but it’s true, and we soon adjust to what’s true and real.
Let’s not forget that we have been bought by His blood. We are no longer strangers or enemies. We belong. We are family. We are children of the King.
Let’s live like it.
…..still licking my wounds…..
Adrian G. Torres