He leaned against our kitchen counter, clutching his plate close to his chest, quickly shoveling forkfuls of food in his mouth. His eyes darted around nervously, a habit he developed because for the past few years, every meal he consumed was as an inmate at the prison.
The early years of his youth were swallowed by a neighborhood rife with violence. Lonely streets were filled with the sounds of sirens and gunshots. Lonely jail cells with cold cement floors. Scratched metal tables were stacked with social workers sitting across from him with pen in hand, hastily filling out paperwork detailing his crimes, his life, his losses.
This was all he knew. This was all he believed he would ever know.
Yet here he was in our kitchen, eating a hot meal and then helping me pile all the plates in the sink. Playfully boasting that he was good at washing dishes. The fastest on his cell block.
I smile to myself and soak in the wonderful sound of his laughter. It is like music. It is like grace. It brings warmth, and beauty, and healing. I am not surprised though that this lovely young boy is here, that his broken heart and all the broken pieces of his life are being mended. That is what the Lord does.
Jesus searches for the lost and finds them. Jesus gathers all that is broken and makes it whole. When this young man walked out of the prison, alone, with his head down staring at the cracked pavement of the sidewalk, the Lord knew him. When he pulled out a handful of change and took a city bus down to a church, the Lord knew him. And when he sat in pew and buried his face in his hands, lamenting his pain and repenting of the pain he had caused others, he began to know the Lord.
Mercy met him in his tears.
In your own tears and times of brokenness, the Lord seeks you. No matter where you have been, He pursues you in love. Trust in His mercy and be found.Trust in His mercy and be found. // Leana Bowler Click To Tweet
Thank you for being here.
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