This article actually appeared in our local County Edge Newspaper this summer! Enjoy!
There were twenty-two of them and twenty of us riding on a charter bus to the N.C. Baptist Retreat Center, Ft. Caswell last week. I make this reference to them and us because they were prisoners and we the sponsors. However, my mere human perceptions begin to shift very early on. Let me explain…
As I looked around the restaurant where we sat enjoying our first meal, it occurred to me that I could not tell who was an inmate and who the sponsors were. I sat beside a clean cut, well spoken women that I immediately took for one of us. Once I realized she was an inmate, I knew that this is the exact same way that God sees us and wants us to view others. He doesn't see big crime or little crime and he does not categorize us by the size of our sin—as people do.
From a human perspective and according to law, some of these ladies were notorious sinners; however in looking at each person, I could physically see no differences. With renewed wisdom and insight, I came to the conclusion that these ladies crimes were no worse than ours; it’s just that they got caught and were paying a noticeable price. Can you relate?
The bottom line is simply this. We are all just a bunch of sinners tossed into the same pool of life—headed in the same direction. Some folks walk with us for a lifetime while others venture in for season and still others drop by for a reason.
By the end of the weekend at Ft. Caswell, testimonies were shared, lives were changed and seeds were planted. Isn’t that what this life is all about? Loving God and loving others regardless of where we are in this walk of life.
We are all on a journey—not to be single-minded or judgmental but to love others with the purest most genuine kind of love that we can offer as Christ showers us with His unconditional love.
For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you invited me into your home. I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me. Matt: 25:35-36