Saturday, April 23, 2016

Prison Letter Response: The why and how of loving God as a murderer

If you think about it, it shouldn't be surprising that the first responder out of the five men with which I recently began corresponding on all things righteous and otherwise holy [see The Prison Letters of a Demoniac] is the oldest, and is facing the most time—a life sentence, without parole—having committed the gravest of crimes: murder.

A pervasive and strong feeling of guilt is the number one hindrance to one's salvation (next to the sin it springs from, of course)—I can never forgive myself—and, if you let it, can block you from hearing, accepting and believing that God loves you—how can God love such a bad person like me?

Not even an overwhelming sense of guilt borne of murder negates that need Everyone need and desire for God's love
I would imagine that the occasional good feeling Jose Jorge Andrade may derive from the Word on God and His love for him is soon quashed by, if not the recurring nightmares that wake him up every night, then a glance at the insides of his cell in Unit B-12 of Pelican Bay State Prison in which he wakes up.

Forgiveness may be a free gift, but it takes faith to appropriate it. I can only imagine how hard that must be for Jorge, seeing as I myself—so far, a non-murderer—haven't moved any mountains yet with mine [read Mark 11:23]. Faith, then, must be that much harder to come by with the incessant reminder afforded by a life behind bars, the estrangement from family, friends—from intimacy—and all the horrors most people dare not think about facing you every waking minute of every day.

Even those who agonize for God's love recognize the necessity of clearing the path to Him, freeing it from any concerns that may hinder or dampen the relationship down the line
I'm sure I have more than a pat answer to Jose's concerns along the line of faith in all things considered. My situation is not better than his in some respects, but my hope for a better future suffers a far lesser challenge than his.
A peruse skimming of video still frames revealed the means by which demons disfigure and age faces prematurely; the "X" over each eye is a network of cloaked stitching, which, like braces that straighten teeth, gently and slowly reshape one's face
Even still, before writing, I'm going to ponder the matter until I can form realistic parallels between his situation and mine, and then offer any support I can muster. While answering this letter is by far not my biggest challenge in life right now, it is certainly my most important one.