Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Entry number 6. E TN Correctional Facility. 10-24-17

  Jesse Adams had the barrel of his handgun pressed hard against his chest. The crime spree he had embarked on was not going to end in a prison sentence. He was mad at the banks he was robbing who, as he perceived, had first robbed him. He was mad at the world. He was mad at himself. Time to pull the trigger and end the nightmare that was his life........
  A single shot rang out. It wasn't Jesse's. An FBI marksman shot the gun Jesse was trying to take his own life with right out of his hand. Had it been one split second later, Jesse would almost certainly be dead. That was 1989.
  We went to see Jesse Adams in prison yesterday. Despite the fact that we had no appointment and there are no Tuesday visiting hours, we were allowed in. If you're curious as to the Jesse Adams of 1989, I'm sorry. I can't tell you about him because he no longer exists. That Jesse Adams is dead. Not physically of course, but spiritually. The Jesse Adams I was privileged to meet had the light of Christ shining through him.
  Eric had met Jesse previously and they correspond periodically. It was my first time in a correctional facility and I had no idea how to minister to an inmate. That didn't matter because this was not a typical prisoner/minister encounter. It was simply a meeting among three brothers in Christ. It was apparent right away that there were no traditional "roles" at play.
  I don't think I could effectively recount details from yesterday even if I tried to. The specifics aren't important anyway. What is important is the transformation of Jesse. He is in the 28th year of a life sentence. This is a sentence he was so eager to avoid back in 1989 that he was ready to kill himself rather than be incarcerated! Now, he is a man who literally amazes me by his grace and gentleness. He has the heart of a servant. It doesn't matter if it's other inmates, guards or even visitors, Jesse will preach the gospel to anyone. This did not happen by earthly means. Only the power and love of Christ can accomplish a change like this!
  Jesse told us that according to man he will never be released from prison; but as a child of God he has faith that sometime, in the not too distant future, he will be freed. Whether he gets out of those walls or stays in them, I'm confident in this. His light will continue to shine because it's not where he is, but He who is in him that really matters.

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