Letters from Jail

Posted: February 19, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have an amazing opportunity to meet new people every day. Hear interesting life stories, and listen to the circumstances that brought the person to our doors.

A common question I receive is “What is the hardest part of your job?”

The hardest part is how emotionally attached I become to our guests. It is very encouraging when you see someone come to the shelter, stay motivated and move back out stronger than before. It breaks my heart when I see someone come in, say they want to do well, don’t and then leave, or cause trouble/problems.

Addiction to a substance is difficult on many levels. It is first difficult on the person mentally; where even the thought becomes an unbearable itch until the body receives what it is craving. Then it is hard physically; their body is telling them that it needs something it doesn’t, so they start to seriously lack the essentials like food, and sleep. Finally it is hard on the person emotionally; as they start to seek the substance they begin to emotionally separate themselves from friends, family and most of society.

I want to tell you the story of a man we will call Mike. Mike is an amazing man that helps out, would give you the shirt off his back and is very pleasant to speak with. When he is drinking it is an entirely different story. I can tell the moment he walks through our door if he is sober or not, that is how drastic the change is with him, he is entirely a different person. While he is drunk he uses this time to I guess speak up about things that he stays silent about while he is sober, but sometimes being intoxicated allows him to think about his future and how he needs to stop drinking and get his life in order.

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Our government recently built a new “Super Max” penitentiary 20 min outside the city. I knew Mike was in jail because I came into my office one day and found a few letters on my desk. He wrote me almost every day. I wrote back some, but not even a fraction of the amount of times he wrote to me. In his letters he told me that he gave his life to Jesus and that he was done with the drinking. This is the same story he often told me while he was drunk in our drop-in center. He would walk up to me with tears in his eyes saying that he was done. I always responded the same way “I hope so Mike”. There were even times during our church services Sunday evenings where he would be drunk and he would get up in front of everyone and declare that he would enter our recovery program and get sober. Mike being sober has not become a reality, but I pray that it will be soon.

Mike’s father stops by our drop-in center at times and informed me that Mike was back in jail, on some fairly serious charges. Mike was out for a few months but he never really allowed God to guide his life, and because of his addiction wound up back in jail. It was not long after he was in jail that I started to get letters again, I think I have received close to ten already. I am going to share a bit from the latest letter so you can hear his heart and desire.

“I got down on my knees and I said with a bright smile and I began confessing my sins. I don’t remember how long it took me, but as I prayed, my spirit began to feel lighter. I know that God was forgiving me, I felt clean inside when I finally asked Jesus to enter my heart and become the Lord of my life. There’s no way to describe how I felt. It was too beautiful, but when I got up off my knees I was a new person! The guilt was gone, the condemnation was out of my life, I am going to follow God’s path for the rest of my life.”

I really do feel that Mike wants to do well, but doesn’t know exactly what that means. In the last letter I wrote him I encouraged him to enter a recovery program outside the city of Moncton. He is so well known in our community that some times that can make it hard to do well.

I pray that this really is the time and that Mike uses the supports in place to do well.

Pray that Mike will enter a recovery program when he gets released. Some times what happens is that someone is doing “well” while inside, and so they trick their mind thinking that they will continue to do well once released.

Please join with me in prayer for Mike that this is the time he really allows God to take hold of his life and bring change.

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Comments
  1. Kenny Bowers says:

    Thank you Danny for this Blog I so look forward to reading your words always
    God Bless you Brother hope to see you in the near future ….k

    Like

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