Saturday, March 12, 2011

" Man, you weren't arrested, you were rescued!"

 It comes as no surprise to most of us that drugs definitely have a negative effect on the ability to make good decisions. For those men, women, and juveniles who find themselves behind bars because of choices they made involving the use or distribution of drugs, or crimes committed related to illegally obtaining money for the purpose of funding a drug habit, or for alcohol abuse related DUI offenses, incarceration can be a blessing in disguise.

"The evidence indicates that drug users are more likely than nonusers to commit crimes, that arrestees frequently were under the influence of a drug at the time they committed their offense, and that drugs generate violence.  The percentage of Federal and State prison inmates who reported they were under the influence of drugs at the time of the offense is about forty percent."*
 *U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Justice Statistics Report on
Alcohol, Drug Use and Crime

In Lennie Spitale's book, Prison Ministry: Understanding Prison Culture Inside and Out, this prison chaplain writes about his many conversations with inmates over the years that have " wound up praising God for sending them to prison- and meaning it from the bottom of their hearts.They realize, he says, "that God has saved them from their self-destructive courses and slowed them down long enough, to think about, and comprehend, ultimate reality. It is grace that has enabled them to take a long hard look at themselves and realize- perhaps for the first time- that they were literally destroying themselves, and in many cases the lives of those around them."

This is why we believe Jesus tells us to remember the prisoner. The man in prison has been placed in a very receptive position. God is very close to those who are helpless, broken, wounded, and he wants us to be too.  

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