Monday, December 12, 2011


Sunday’s morning visit to the Youth Detention Center was a bit different in the fact that our group almost outnumbered the one before us. The guard informed us, as we passed through a small six-foot square space separating the foyer from the inner sanctum of the facility, that it had already been a few hours of “attitude” and that most of the kids were in “lock-down”. We followed him, then, down a hallway, needing to be allowed passage beyond two more doors before reaching an open recreational area, television mounted on the wall and not much there otherwise, plastic green chairs replacing whatever might have been there and arranged for our hour of sharing. Less than twenty boys were marched in to fill the seats and I opened with a short prayer… This is “church” for me, the only music shared on this occasion being a couple of Christmas carols that my son-in-law brought forth on his sax, a chorus in which I attempted to get them to join me a-cappella, and another short song that one of women with us produced in like manner. There were seven of us, each addressing our “congregation” not more than ten minutes apiece, and yet the message, as a whole, seemingly one, woven together by the Holy Ghost. “God is for us”, we determined, “and He will take us beyond any walls that deter us, if we but invite Him along for the journey.” No one had to ask for a show of hands. When eyes begin to outwardly reflect what’s going on in the heart, it’s pretty evident that the Spirit is at work in our midst……

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