…I was in prison and you came to me. Matthew 25:36c | MSG
At Serenity Corner some of our friends have life styles that run contrary to the law. That’s just the way it is. We don’t endorse or participate in those behaviors and neither do we condemn our friends. It’s a narrow path we have chosen to walk. A path that doesn’t condone behavior nor condemn the person. For us it is a necessary narrowness and we understand that some may not agree with us. We’re okay with that.
It is a narrow way so we have to shed some of our baggage in order to squeeze through the cracks and crevices to get to the souls along the way. Heavy rules and regulations have to go to make room Light and Kinship. The need for success is unloaded and replaced with the call of Faithfulness.
When we unpack our expectations of people and exchange it for the Love of Christ for others our yoke becomes easier and our burden lightens. It is no longer us carrying the load but Christ in us. We no longer have to change anyone. That becomes God’s responsibility. Our role is just to demonstrate His Love and reveal His Kingdom.
That can take different forms and tasks. Because those we love and stand with live on the edge of the law, they end up behind bars. Sometimes they are innocent and are quickly released. Most often they spend time in the county jail.
We try to go visit them when we can and deposit a little money on their commissary accounts so they can get some necessities and treats. It’s not much but it’s our way of showing they are important to us and we’re still friends in all circumstances. Our acceptance is as close to non conditional as we demonstrate. God’s Grace is so much more expansive.
This week we deposited $120 spread into four men’s accounts. Thirty dollars each. Most guys are released within a couple of weeks or months. This time though one was already sentenced to 8 years in the state penitentiary and two others are repeat offenders and may be facing 20-25 years for assault charges. The fourth has been in the county jail since October and has possession and delivery charges that could send him away for several years.
But they know that we have not forgotten them. They know the God-of-angel-armies is with them. Their friends on the street will lose touch. We won’t. When this virus quarantine is over and the jail allows visitors, we’ll be there to see them.
This we believe reveals the Kingdom of God.
We walk this narrow way because it leads to an expansive land bigger and better than we could ever ask or imagine. A land large enough for the outcast and downcast, despised and broken, the disoriented and forgotten.