A God story

Len

Well-Known Member
I was asked to write about an experience of prison and God I had in under 500 words for a prison newsletter and thought I would share it here too ..... and yet I still struggle with being in His family, go figure!....
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I remember being afraid and alone when that cell door first slammed behind me at 17yo. That cell on the second story was right next to a walkway between two blocks and I had unknowingly been walking over a trapdoor with the noose’s beam above it many times before realising what it was, a gallows. And while awaiting sentencing on February the Third, 1967 I was there when the last man was hung in that prison and I saw through my doors peep hole some of that drama! That trapdoor had a very loud finality about it.

Around seven years later as a single father sharing a house with a female hippie who one day came home converted to Christianity brought home this straight laced guy who talked me through some bible verses about sin and judgement. I can still remember how the hair on the back of my neck stood on end when I realised that sin and judgement were real; God was real; Jesus could save me if I would trust HIM with my soul, I did and my life was never the same again.

A number of years later my wife and I went to a craft market at that old prison, my first return to that very section from my remand days.

I was reiterating the story to her under the beam when a uniformed prison guide came up informing us about the last man hung so I commented that I was “there” when it happened but he said "No you weren't, as I have it on good authority all the prisoners were removed before the event". I was quite embarrassed as he had just called me a liar so I wanted to get away from him but he followed asking questions about prison life and eventually cornered me in the old guard station area where the craft market admin people were working and as we stood there an older guy comes looking for this guide and introduces himself as the old prison governor (funnily his first day back too) and quick as a flash the guide says "well you can settle a dispute for me, as this guy (pointing to me) says he was in here when Robert Ryan was hung but I have it on good authority the prisoners were all removed, which is it?, the ex governor says "do you think it’s easier to march men a kilometre or turn a key?, to his credit the guide apologised then left with the governor, but suddenly from behind I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turn to a voice saying that it was obvious I had been in the prison but they could see I had changed, and they wanted to know what made me change, as they worked with street kids and he wanted to know if there was some sort of hope for them ..... and the beauty of being able to tell someone who made the difference in my life was that it helped both of us see a future hope.
 

ninicat

Active Member
That gave me chills. God truly does work in mysterious ways. I’ve never been incarcerated in prison, but I was arrested at 19 in 1978 for shoplifting. Spent the night in jail in Humble, Texas! What a stupid thing I did. That charge followed me for a long time but has been expunged I guess. Still haunts me though - one and only time riding in the back of a police car with handcuffs on. Very sobering experience. I never stole another thing after that. God bless you brother. God still has work for you to do.
 
I was asked to write about an experience of prison and God I had in under 500 words for a prison newsletter and thought I would share it here too ..... and yet I still struggle with being in His family, go figure!....
==============================================================================

I remember being afraid and alone when that cell door first slammed behind me at 17yo. That cell on the second story was right next to a walkway between two blocks and I had unknowingly been walking over a trapdoor with the noose’s beam above it many times before realising what it was, a gallows. And while awaiting sentencing on February the Third, 1967 I was there when the last man was hung in that prison and I saw through my doors peep hole some of that drama! That trapdoor had a very loud finality about it.

Around seven years later as a single father sharing a house with a female hippie who one day came home converted to Christianity brought home this straight laced guy who talked me through some bible verses about sin and judgement. I can still remember how the hair on the back of my neck stood on end when I realised that sin and judgement were real; God was real; Jesus could save me if I would trust HIM with my soul, I did and my life was never the same again.

A number of years later my wife and I went to a craft market at that old prison, my first return to that very section from my remand days.

I was reiterating the story to her under the beam when a uniformed prison guide came up informing us about the last man hung so I commented that I was “there” when it happened but he said "No you weren't, as I have it on good authority all the prisoners were removed before the event". I was quite embarrassed as he had just called me a liar so I wanted to get away from him but he followed asking questions about prison life and eventually cornered me in the old guard station area where the craft market admin people were working and as we stood there an older guy comes looking for this guide and introduces himself as the old prison governor (funnily his first day back too) and quick as a flash the guide says "well you can settle a dispute for me, as this guy (pointing to me) says he was in here when Robert Ryan was hung but I have it on good authority the prisoners were all removed, which is it?, the ex governor says "do you think it’s easier to march men a kilometre or turn a key?, to his credit the guide apologised then left with the governor, but suddenly from behind I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turn to a voice saying that it was obvious I had been in the prison but they could see I had changed, and they wanted to know what made me change, as they worked with street kids and he wanted to know if there was some sort of hope for them ..... and the beauty of being able to tell someone who made the difference in my life was that it helped both of us see a future hope.
Thanks for the testimony brother.

While I've not been arrested, I know everyone is one small step away from being trapped in the system. And once they get ahold of you it may be awhile before one can get out. So people in the system need hope and I'm glad you helped. God bless you.
 

Jojo4124

Well-Known Member
Awesome testimony!!! How freaky it must have been to walk over that trapdoor! And How God used that experience to grab your heart profoundly!! Praise God!!

My best friend's husband went to prison for 7 years right after they married. She had a hard time finding support while he was in because she chose to stay married to him. When he got out they went to church and someone who did prison ministry talked.

My friend n her husband thought maybe they could help do prison ministry but this speaker discouraged them, because my friend's hub had been in the system. I thought WHO better to minister to those in prison than one who'd been there??!!

Unfortunately, this shocked n discouraged my friend n her hub. The lack of support hurt them n they stopped reaching out for help. Her hub, 25 years later still lives under condemnation and wrestles with what must have been horrors he experienced while in prison.

Jesus forgives us of ALL sin, except disbelief in Jesus. How can I encourage my friend n her hub to heal n find support? My heart breaks for them because had they found a full of grace ministry, they'd probably be ministering Jesus to those in prison right now.

I get angered by Christians who recoil from or judge those whom Jesus calls the least of these. Jesus says caring for them is caring for HIM!!

Ty for any ideas...maybe something for thier marriage or for him to not live under his cloud of shame and ptsd or whatever from being in prison, any ministry that actually ministers to ppl who have been to prison, the spouses who stayed in the marriage, etc?
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Unfortunately, this shocked n discouraged my friend n her hub. The lack of support hurt them n they stopped reaching out for help. Her hub, 25 years later still lives under condemnation and wrestles with what must have been horrors he experienced while in prison.

:pray ing for the Lord's encouraging direction for them...


:pray
 
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