I’ve just got back today from my annual government-paid trip to Brisbane for the Queensland Prison Chaplains’ In-Service Training. I’m tired from listening and heavy from eating but inspired to go in to the prison for another year. And blessed to have mixed for a few days with a small army (about 100 of us) of very ordinary people, regarded by some in the prison as just one rung up from the guys wearing brown, but dedicated and inspired by even the smallest ray of hope in an inmates eyes.
And what’s so bad about brown? It’s the colour of the earth, the dirt that is trodden but which God once gathered into a heap and breathed life into – a man in His own image, a work that has not finished but is daily reproduced in our prisons.
There’s a great thing happening in our prisons. Most people have no knowledge of it. God is raising men and women from the refuse heap and preparing them to be released into our society as true servant leaders. They probabably won’t feel comfortable in our churches or our lounge rooms though so God may have to do some work on the church before we can benefit from the life they will release among us.
I thank God for taking me into prison each week. And I thank God for the ordinary people that go in with me.