In the news we hear and see the violence and the drugs, so we conclude that prisoners are a menace to society and a threat to our children and community. “Lock them up and throw away the key,” we chide! Pause and listen for a moment to the hearts of those who have been locked up.
“...Our souls dance as God’s plan supersedes any agenda formulated against us. I only ask, 'Could I have begun such a journey free of isolation?' But my answer is always, 'No.' I’ve learned that to appreciate a lion up close, we have to capture the beast, and allow Him (God) to subdue the animal, instinctively, long enough to be spiritually awakened. I am most blessed to have your spiritual guidance at a time in life when most of the world has forsaken me. This, in itself, speaks volumes...in a world where it seems as if everything is down. We think down, we talk down, we act down, we feel down, and many of us are low down. In the midst of this, you bring to mind the hymnologist that wrote, 'I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day; still praying as I onward bound, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground'. To find this inspiration in You makes me beyond grateful. Now I look in the mirror, and I’m glad to see laughter in the eyes where tears used to be. I’m willing to confide, rebuild, and have faith in someone to lead me to greater things or, in essence, my 'higher ground'"
Written By R.H.
IF I ONLY HAD!
If I only had a dollar, I would help a man in need.
If I only had some extra clothes this winter, I would help a man not freeze.
If I had some extra shoes to give, a man could walk all day,
If I had an extra jacket, believe me, it would help him along the way.
If I had an extra heart I’d give, to a man who gave up on life,I’d give that man some hope today,
in the name of Jesus Christ.
Written by J.K.
Both R. H. and J. K. are currently incarcerated in the Buncombe County Detention Facility/Asheville Jail. May you have ears to hear, by the Holy Spirit, that all inmates are real people who, just like R.H. and J.K., are hurting, lost, broken, and yet, are still such gifted and talented people.
Consider this––we have the potential to turn the key that sets their hearts free to receive the Good News of Jesus’ love, forgiveness, and salvation. We can share that Christ has plans of hope and a better future for them when all has seemed otherwise so bleak. We ask you to partner with us through your prayers, volunteer time, and financial support to turn the key and set their hearts free.
Rev. Vanessa L. James Chaplain