Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Father's Day in Prison

The Father’s Day message delivered in Bugembe Prison was taken from the same Prodigal Son story as delivered at Buwenge Blue. But this time the room full of men came to understand that the selfish, greedy, power-hungry son who thought he knew how to do life better alone than with his dad was forgiven when he returned to his father’s house. Not only was he forgiven but his father came running to welcome him home. I tried to help these guys imagine what that would be like for them.

I asked them to think about the worst thing they’d ever done, maybe that thing is why they are in prison now…maybe not. I asked them to imagine going to tell God they were sorry, they already knew in their heart they were sorry but now they had to go apologize. I wonder if imagining such a thing is very close to actually doing it in this case because God is ever present. Anyhow, I asked these broken men to imagine that before they even arrived at His estate (for certainly God lives on a very large estate), before they even had to get up the courage to speak a word, He came running at them. He came running and wrapped his arms around them and welcomed them home. Not a word spoken but all the love of the Father enveloping them both.

That’s what will happen, a lot like the story of the Prodigal Son. These men could hardly believe such a wonderful reunion could be possible.

But it doesn't end there. Typically one or two women reside in this prison as well. This day...18. 18 prostitutes were jailed the night before in a pretty major sting. Can you imagine telling all these women – most of whom indicated they had no father or had an abusive father – about the love of their heavenly Father and that he loves them so much they can always go home if they’re sorry. Oh ya, that’s what I’M talking about…not a dry eye in the place. Can you imagine that being arrested for prostitution could end up being the highlight of these women’s lives…the point at which they finally realized their Father’s love and take a step toward him? Thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to be part of this beautiful moment in their lives.