Visiting Jesus in Prison

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The keepers are uniformed, professional, and follow an exacting protocol. Every visit I am greeted with pages of instructions: what I may not do, may not wear, may not bring. I submit paperwork and my ID. I am physically inspected head to toe and under my tongue, then scanned. A massive steel door slides open. I am stamped with ultraviolet ink, to be verified on my exit. I await another steel door to slide open. I walk 100 yards to a family meeting room where I await yet another steel door to be opened. Guards oversee. I am instructed where I may sit, in a chair whose location is framed by a painted square on the floor. The prisoner whom I meet is escorted in through another door. I stand. We greet briefly. We smile. We sit, he, too, in a designated square. After some welcoming conversation, I suggest we share silence and stillness for some moments, and then either the prisoner or I will pray aloud. And then I listen. I mostly listen. The time is precious, and we talk earnestly about important things. We often share some gentle laughter and slow tears. We stand to say goodbye very briefly, and then he sits to await his escort. And then I depart, a repeat process.  Read More