of course, it’s becoming patently obvious that my visits to the prison are far more transforming for me than for the prisoners. Which isn’t surprising at all. Jesus seemed to indicate that we might encounter him in the prisoner.
i heard the best theology of baptism i’ve heard for a long time, on Monday, from someone who was filling out a special request form for the prison bureaucracy, so that he could be baptised. he said ‘i’m not sure what it all means, and i’m not sure about faith, but i want a turning point. I want it all washed away so that i can start again. i want to be able to look back on something and say “that was when i started to live differently”‘.
i wonder what it is like to encounter grace and redemption, in an environment that perpetuates its stark absence in your life.
the other thing that has surprised me is that many of the people i’ve talked with in prison have wanted to be part of Christian communities outside of prison.