Wow, I just typed a whole page and then lost it because my computer is being difficult today. Stupid computer. So here's the gist of things.
I went to a parole hearing last week for a guy named Stacy. While I was there, I saw another guy that I know named Jason. They both were recommended for parole, but here's the deal with that. A recommendation is just a starting point. It takes two weeks for the parole board to vote and make their decision about releasing the inmate in question. So we're in that two week period now, and it's driving me crazy! I can't imagine what these guys must be going through as complete strangers are deciding their immediate futures (and by extension the futures of their families as well!). I sign onto the website at least three times a day to check and see if a decision has been posted, even though we still have at least a week to wait.
I wish you guys could all see the lives of these men. I barely know them, yet I care for them so much that sometimes all I can do is cry for the heartbreak of it all. I long for them to know the joy and peace that come from knowing Jesus and accepting His pure and unfaltering love for us.
Getting to know inmates is probably the best, most useful thing I've ever done in my life. I understand why Christ hung out with the losers: He chose to hang out with society's rejects even when everyone else tried to deny their very existence. Get to know someone different than you. Learn to respect them. It will change your life, your love, and your outlook.
Also, tonight a group from our church is going to check out Celebrate Recovery, an addiction recovery program that has had huge success. I am so excited about it, and I can't wait to see how we can be a part of what God is doing through that.