Recently, I asked to be involved in the church. My pastor informed me that he could use someone like me to be active in the prison ministry. Today, I went and chatted with the chaplain at Tishomingo County Jail. I saw enough to know that I never want to go to jail. We met several inmates. Many clutched Bibles and stated that they had turned their lives over to Christ. In the military we were often told see a need, fill a need. There are plenty of people in jail that need to hear about the love of God.
After touring the prison, we went over to the lady’s side. It is sad how prisoners are grouped together. Bunk beds are sparse. Some people sleep on the floors. Others lean against the wall and try to squeeze in a nap here and there. The guards seem to be lethargic. Interaction between prisoners is minimal. There are several cliques that are formed, and the Alpha of each section stands alone.
It was disconcerting to be in jail. The sense of dread is overwhelming. I watched as the Chaplain interacted with the prisoners. He seemed at ease speaking to them and cracking jokes. As my attention spanned the sections, my heart pounded furiously. When I was young my grandfather told my brother and I that we would both be in jail by the time that we turned twenty-one. Our tempers are vicious, and we didn’t back down from anyone. The prisoners seemed hungry for any interaction with someone other than their fellow prisoners. They gathered around and listened as the Chaplain spoke. They seem like sponges. Nothing escapes their attention. It is my hope that we can impact the lives of these men and women and help them turn their lives around.