In honor of Christmas and my return to more faithful blogging I’m starting a series called “A Christmas to Remember”. Through this series I will share some memories of my favorite Christmases and what made them so special. The first one, was Christmas 2005, four years ago when I was a Senior in High School. I actually wrote this post a long time ago for my xanga (yes I had one of those) but thought I would reshare it now.
Today wasn’t the typical Christmas Eve for me. This afternoon Keith (my brother ) and I went with LaBranda and her family to the federal prison where her dad is a chaplain. They were having a Christmas Eve service for the inmates and we went and participated in that. I have to say that I was scared to go. I’ve never really been inside a prison before and didn’t know what to expect. Before I left God really left a burden on my heart that these men need His love just as much as I do.
The service was very good. Another chaplain’s family came, a very musical family, and they sang and played their instruments for the men. And then there was a message and reading of the Word. It was neat to see them praise God just like I do. They were so happy to see us and afterwards thanked us for coming and shook hands with us. It was touching.
The prison building itself didn’t look like a prison at all because it really is a hospital. This type of prison is a Federal Medical Center. Inmates with cancer are sent here from all over the nation. Sadly, most of them will not leave the prison until after they die. Most of the men in that small room have cancer. They don’t have a lot going for them. Yet they worshiped God still. They had glimmers of hope in their eyes.
For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Lord, let me look after these people. I lift them up in prayer to you. It hit me this afternoon that those men in prison will not experience Christmas in the same way I will. They won’t gather at church or at home with friends and family. They won’t get to see the ones they love the most. They don’t get to observe your glorious creation in its beauty. But please show them that they can still have You and that they are still loved by You.