June 24, 2011

Blessing the "Yes!"

Today's my devotion is running at Internet Cafe Devotions. It's a topic I've written a lot about, but one that keeps knocking my socks off. I hope you'll read on and join me there.

Three years ago our couples’ Friday night Bible study tossed around missions ideas we might do together. From the comfort of our college-educated, suburban lives we made logical suggestions—the homeless shelter, tutoring, a food pantry or Habitat for Humanity—but we rejected them all. As our minds searched for new ideas, someone said, “What about prison?”

No one said “no.” In fact no one said anything. We sat stunned and silent. Seconds clicked by and God stepped in. We agreed in unison, “Yes! Prison ministry.”

Moments later I wondered, “What have we done?”

None of us brought a single qualification to prison ministry yet we pursued the idea anyway. Through several “coincidences” God led us to a local prison ministry that ran a weekly worship service. To our surprise its leaders welcomed us, and within a couple months we made our first visit to a maximum security men’s prison.

We weaved our way down the institutional hallways, deeper into the prison, to the chapel.

The service was nothing like I expected or had ever experienced. The inmates who attended were friendly and polite, not scary or threatening. And the service was loud, joyful, spirit-filled and uplifting. Today the prison chapel is my favorite place to worship.

Yet I still struggle to find my place in the ministry. The little voice inside reminds me I don’t belong. First of all I’m a woman—a bit out of place in a men’s prison. My life story doesn’t resemble the harsh realities the men have faced, so I can’t relate to their specific struggles. Plus, I don’t lead worship or sing or play an instrument.

My sensible side adds up the facts and says, “leave.”

But God says, “stay." {Keep Reading}


Anonymous said...

typo ... it's 2Corinthians 12:9 (not 1Corinthians) :)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Another blessing to my heart, friend.


Terri Tiffany said...

And until he says Leave,that's what we do, isn't it?

Sue J. said...

This is such a great testimony to share, Kelli, because we all need to realize that it's really not at all about us. It's all about Him! He turned fishermen into Apostles! Water into wine! Can He not transform those He calls to fulfill exactly the roles He needs them to fulfill?! YES! That we get to share in the joy of His grace is what I'm thrilled with over and over again. Who are we that He would decide to share such a blessing with us?!

Keep it up, girl! And keep sharing your insights into your missions and faith, that we might all continue to grow....

Sassy Granny ... said...

Ah, but you are a prisoner set free, my dear friend. I can think of no greater hope to offer these shackled inmates.