Super Tuesday’s. That’s what I call ’em as a small band of faithful “missionaries” from VCC, Cornerstone, East Bay Foursquare, and The Well light up the dark halls of both Santa Rita County Jail and “Gladiator School” (DVI) in Tracy.
Last Tuesday, I found myself sitting beside a young “20 something” man who called himself “Dre” in a makeshift prayer room. It was at least 90 degrees even with the World War II era steel fans blowing across our faces. “I don’t even know what I’m doing here,” he said, his eyes never making contact with mine. “I like the way I’m living and I don’t want to give it up. The same way you put your shoes on, I slip a gun in my pants and pimp. I know it ain’t right but I gotta do what I gotta do to get mine.”
Dre told me that at one time he wanted to be close to God, but always found himself getting in more and more trouble. “Why do all these things happen to me? If God was there he would do something, wouldn’t he? I am the only one in my family that gets into trouble, and I have no support coming from anywhere. God doesn’t hear anything I say.” “Dre,” I said to him, “God does hear you and the very fact that you came into this room today shows that He is calling you, and drawing you to Him.”
At this point Dre began to fidget, and to slide back and forth uncomfortably in his seat. I asked him, “Would you mind if I prayed and asked God to show himself to you?” He agreed and the prayers began in an under hushed tone as to not disturb the 80+ men sitting just feet away from us. “God, you know everything about Dre and you love him just the same. I ask that you would reveal yourself to him and to show him how much it is that you care about him. Show him that he is not forgotten. Show him that he has much life to live outside of these walls. Show him that the decisions that he makes in this facility will affect his life and eternity, for either good or bad.”
At this point, one giant tear drop fell from his right eye, turning the knee on his bright orange jumpsuit crimson red. I told him, “Dre, I believe that God is going to do something great in your life this week.” He sat in contemplation for a moment, then he leaned in and whispered to me, “What about the prayer?” “Do you mean the prayer about laying it all down for God – the salvation prayer?,” I answered. “Yeah, where is it,” he asked. I smiled and said “It’s right here in my heart; would you like to pray it?” Still staring intently at the brushed metal filing cabinet, he nodded “Yes.” So Dre and I began to pray again…