Sunday, January 18, 2015

Doing Time 4 "Hair-on-the-back-of-my-neck"

This is the 4th installment of Spark's notes as a chaplain at the Peoria County Jail:

     I'm not sure how many times in the last 14 years that the hair on the back of my neck has stood up.  It happens every time the Holy Spirit becomes evident in the Sunday morning church service.  Jesus is doing time at the Peoria County Jail and every other jail that has church services.  Why does He care so much for those that nobody else seems to? Another memorable "hair-on-the-back-of-my-neck" story started one Sunday when we had a visiting minister from Indiana. He and his wife were going to sing a duet before he had the services.  Before they came up front, during audience participation, I noticed that one of the male inmates had his jump suit totally unsnapped, even his underwear was visible.  He was lounging back in his chair half out of it and did not look in any mood to be messed with.  I didn't want the minister's wife to have to see this and thought that there was only 2 ways to fix it.  I could call for a guard, or go talk to this inmate myself.  Either option would create a scene.  Suddenly I thought of a third option.  I closed my eyes and told God that this is His church and I would be leaving it up to Him if He wanted this problem taken care of.  Before I opened my eyes, I felt an ice cold breeze stand the hair up on the back of my neck.  There are no windows in gym B and no air conditioning registers behind me so I knew where it was coming from.  I opened my eyes in time to notice that only one other person in the room seemed to notice the breeze. He shivered violently and started snapping up his jump suit.  He even did the top snap (could have put a tie on if he'd had one).  The hair on the back of my neck stayed up even after the breeze quit because I knew that Jesus was doing time!
     Many times the minister's prepared sermon has totally pertained to the subjects brought up during audience participation.
    God's word says that if you search for me with your whole heart I will be found! I believe that there is probably an inmate with that heart condition in every one of our services.  I think that's probably a good enough reason for Jesus to do some time.  It reminds me of the story where He left the 99 sheep to find the lost one.  Amazing Love!

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