Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Jail – Part 3 of 3

(Excerpt from Vengenace Is Mine)
I stood and quietly walked to the bars. I looked as far as I could to the left and then the right. No one was in sight. I picked up the Bible and grabbed the paper to make it line up with the pages of the Bible, but it wouldn't move. It was stuck inside somehow. I opened the Bible to release the skewed paper and when I did I saw the slip of paper was blank. However, there was a verse highlighted in yellow. I was compelled to read it. The verse marked was Romans 12:19. I knew it from memory. "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord.'"

I felt a chill, but shook it off. Just a coincidence. That verse would probably apply to most of the guys here. I flipped through the pages of the Bible looking for more yellow ink. I found two more. The first was Colossians 3:13. "Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."

The third verse I found marked in yellow ink shocked me even more. It was Matthew 28:20. "…and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

A strange feeling surrounded me and I knew the Bible readings were for me. God was with me, even here.

I knelt on the concrete with my elbows on the cold metal bed and bowed my head. Nothing happened, but I didn't give up. I stayed there for several minutes, feeling the coldness of the cell, smelling the odor of previous occupants, and trying not to think about the pain in my leg that was worse when I knelt. I wanted to pray, but couldn't. "Help me," was all I could say, so I repeated it over and over again until a sense of comfort enveloped me. That's when I knew God was with me. I felt His strength surround my body. Even the throbbing in my leg from the gunshot wound was gone. I was at peace and pain free for the first time since Sarah's death. It was then I realized God had always been with me. He hadn't abandoned me even though I'd doubted His love. I'd even doubted His existence.

Now I could pray. "Dear God, thank You," I said aloud. "I feel Your power and know You're with me here in this cell. I don't know what to do, but I know I will look for your guidance. Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me for my doubts. And, please Lord, help my friend, Tex. Amen."

After my prayer I was so relaxed I stretched out on the cot and rested.

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