The door is slammed behind you or the bars have slid in place to contain you and for the first minute, as you stand there the reality hits you, especially if you’re placed in a cell by yourself, “you are locked up”.
You’ve placed your cup by the sink along with the spork, your only eating utensil and told to take care of it for you will not get another. You examine your toothbrush with half a handle not permitting you access to the back of your mouth, but it does not matter because after brushing the outside of your front teeth, those bristles will not function properly with the small tube of “Fresh Mint” toothpaste anyway after the second brushing.
You unravel your bedroll and take the face cloth, if you’re in one of the better places which provide them, along with the just a bit larger than a face towel now serving you as your bath towel and hook it onto the collapsible hooks which probably either have been broken off or too weak to support any weight, whose true purpose is to prevent suicide by hanging. You make up your bed after deciding which sheet is long enough and tie both ends to secure it to the mattress and if you’re fortunate to have a pillow, you’re glad it’s covered in vinyl, like the two-inch mattress, but still wonder as you look at the stained pillow-cover, imagining the many heads who’ve slept on it, probably with opened mouths. You sit for a moment after you’ve spread the so-called blanket which will not cover you sufficiently unless you’re able to fold yourself in halves, but what would cover the holes others have made during its lifetime usage?
So, you sit. You look around. Maybe you go to the window and find that view you can actually see out because no one cleans the slits which serves to bring light into your cell from the outside, and those who’ve resided before you either spread soap, yes the hotel-sized bar you’re expected to shower, when you can and hopefully not drop, the week or two before you might possibly get another or better, now used to write messages on the inside of the window making it more difficult to view whatever you could possibly see from the place you’ve called “home”, but now secured from.
You’re listening to the other inmates with nothing else to do but yell to one another, some playing the jail-house game against you shouting, “Is that him/her?” “Yeah, it’s gotta be him/her.” “I know it’s him/her. Wait till I get out. I’m gonna get them buns!” “Fresh meat.”
There are no phone calls, for now. No one you may know personally because you weren’t able to see through the openings as you walked the galley to your cells, not because you wanted to see but because you were to filled with emotions to care, so you beg for the quietness of the space which you will now call, “home”, and it does not matter if you’re the biggest drug dealer, the least sorrowful of killers, or got caught up in drug/alcohol abuse, or a sex offender or whatever reason which brought you into that police cell, county jail, state prison or federal penitentiary, for a moment you sit and your eyes water with the reality your life, as you’ve known it, has changed, and there are so many unanswered questions, enough to bring a tear which spills onto your prison issued uniform, and you wonder, “why”? Why has this happened to me? Why did I do it? I should have went to this place instead of that place. The questions flood your mind but the one question which seem most paramount is, “Why am I here?”
Why are you here?
If you begin to answer the question because of the crime you were charged, you need to understand this is what “brought” you here, but it is not “why” you are here. The only reason “why you are here” is because God is trying to save you!
Every inmate, whether convicted or innocent, the reason why you are here is because God set Providence in position to make you an offer which would have gone unheeded while you were in the street, and if you’ve been given any amount of time, by a judge, it is really the time God’s given you, to take advantage of the offer to spend eternity with Him, but the way you were going it would not have been possible. So, this is “why” you are sitting there. This is “why” you have been blessed enough to have a God who is really demonstrating love to bring you here to give you an opportunity to finally get it right. You ought to be crying not because you are locked up but because He loved you so much to protect you against yourself and the forces (Satan) trying to kill you. How many have died who will never have a chance to be still, and breathing, to begin to be able to make new decisions, new choices to begin your life anew? You need to thank Him for this reality He’s provided for all your needs so you can spend quality time with Him.
So, since you have to be here, begin to focus on Him so you will not miss all He wants to give you. Learn now to put away all distractions the enemy will bring into your life once these doors are cracked open and you join Population. You will not have to go far to become lost even in His plan of salvation. It is called “rec”. Do not waste time, your life, going after, “rec” which will not save you.
Even now, while you’re coming to this new realization, I think it would be an excellent time to offer a prayer of thanks for God’s attention to your life. The prayer does not have to be long and artfully crafted. It can simply be, “Lord, save me”, and by praying this prayer, in essence, is the answer to the question, “Why am I here?”