She emerged from the metal door grinning ear to ear. Shouts of well wishers filled the air. Her only belongings rested at the bottom of a large plastic bin that screeched and rumbled as it rolled over the asphalt. An officer met her at the expansive, metal gate. More creaking sounds as the gate, surrounded by razor wire, opened wide. She turned and waved one last time to her friends who remain behind the walls. She promised to write. Promised to send money for cookies. Assured them she would be alright.
Obeying specific orders, I remained in my car, overcome with emotion. I could not jump out and welcome her with open arms, so I remained still as she made her way to me. In six years, I had never witnessed this scene. I was transfixed on her every move and in awe of how in seconds she walked from incarceration to freedom.
Other officers who were working outside the gate greeted her. They wished her well. Cautioned her about this new freedom and not messing up. She loaded her possessions in my back seat and made her way around to the passenger side. We hugged and laughed, holding back tears. She was actually sitting in my car! From sitting in the chapel inside the prison during choir practice to sitting in my car! It was surreal to say the least! It had been over four years of life in confinement and punishment. And now she is free.
As we drove away and reached the exit of the prison I stopped the car.
"Look back." I told her.
She spun around in her seat. Chocking back tears she says with conviction;
"I'm not coming back here again unless it's to do something good!"
And I believe her. I watched her find the true God in prison. For years He has been making Himself very real to her. After years of running from Him, she's running to Him with willing surrender.
How many days does our God watch as His children march into captivity? It's a scene He's witnessed for centuries. We put ourselves behind bars of sin all the while holding the keys to freedom.
Now just imagine with me for a moment how beautiful it is for the Father to see His own child step out of bondage and into freedom! And He isn't just waiting outside the gate for us to join Him. He sat in the cell with us singing songs of deliverance over us until we actually listened to His voice.
We were not created to waste away in a cell of our own making.
He died so we could have it.
He lives so we can know it.
He loves so we can share it.
Step out of the cages... into Freedom.
* Please pray for my friend who just left the prison on Monday. She will be moving to my town and attending our church. She has never chosen to surround herself with godly people and moral people. Housing has been secured. She is looking for a job and wants GOD's best for her. Pray for T.F. Thank you!