I hate to admit it, but the view from my six-man cell (dorm) is almost beautiful. Just outside the multiple 10-foot fences, razor wire, and the deadly high-voltage electrical fence is a small lake tucked into a shallow valley of lush green trees. The trees stand tall and proud, rising from a floor of rich green vegetation. Multi-colored wildflowers speckle the ground with eye-popping color.
This beautiful vista does not always look like this, however. Extreme heat and extended periods of rainless days dry the trees, flowers, vegetation, and even the small lake. The view then is hopeless and desolate, and I avoid looking at such disappointment. But all is not lost, because resting deep within the dry soil are seeds which are ready to die, then spring into life at the first drop of water. New life will rise from the once hopeless, desolate land, transforming it once again into a site of beauty.
This land reminds me of the sights that fill my vision when I’m on the prison yard. Men, who in their youths were filled with life, now roam around lifeless, hopeless and very desolate. The heat of their criminal lives slowly dried them up. This is true for the majority of men on this yard, and sadly most have embraced their despair and have no hope for a vibrant future.
A few, though, have found hope, life and the Living Water which is Jesus Christ. These once dry, hopeless men invited the Seed of Life into their lives. This Seed – Yeshua – died and rose again to give life – vibrant and beautiful – to these men. The waters of God’s Spirit have flooded into their dead souls, bringing forth fruit.
Giving up on those in prisons is a mistake, for God, the Creator of life and Giver of salvation, is taking these hopeless, dead inmates and giving them new life. And for anyone reading this who feels hopeless and desolate, you are not. The Creator of life can give you love, grace, and new life. Invite Him in today, and see life spring forth into your once-dead heart.
….wishing my bald head would see new growth….
Adrian G. Torres