Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

Back to Blog Home
Prison Perspectives  

Recently, my wife and I visited a friend who is in prison.   If you've never been to one, it's a sobering and sensory exercise.  There's an unmistakable institutional smell—a fragrant bouquet of floor cleanser, window dust and the faint odor of new paint,  There's the sound of doors buzzing, keys jangling, radios squawking...along with the thud of your own pulse.

Faces around the room bear a sad and anxious presence.  You wonder who they have come to visit....what the crime was--and you know that they're wondering the same about you.

As we chatted in the official visiting room with my friend, we did what everybody else there did: pretended the gray grimy place was the setting for an ordinary conversation in an ordinary place on an ordinary day. 

My friend talked about the “Property Room,” where inmates pick up magazines, and care packages sent by loved ones.  The objects are treated so cautiously, that  harmless gifts often never get to the inmates because of security concerns. But the worst thing is the sign that officials have posted outside the property room: “Leave your feelings at the door.”

The experience got me to wondering.  Why must we add insult to a prisoner's injury with a sign like that? Why must the walls be a depressing gray?  Can't something be done?  And if so, what should I do, as a follower of Jesus, to make a difference?

Guess I'm probably best off supporting the ministries already doing effective work in this challenging arena.  But I had better do something.  And so had you.

If we claim to love Jesus, we can ill afford to ignore his haunting word picture in Matthew, “I was in prison...but you did not visit me.”

Surely a visit means more than merely showing up . 

Surely it means stepping up...and lifting others up—even if they reside in a prison.

 

Back to Blog Home





Jon GaugerJon Gauger

Recent Posts

Thursday, February 29, 2024
People of Faith
Thursday, February 22, 2024
About Fishing
Thursday, February 15, 2024
Plant Anyway
Thursday, February 08, 2024
A Survivor Remembers
Thursday, February 01, 2024
Intensive Prayer Unit

Jon Gauger Media 2016