I made a new friend today after my Friday morning Bible Study group at Revive Cafe. I picked up Jeremy who was heading into Sonora to get a car seat for their new baby. He and his wife and five children and this is very much their newest little treasure. The hospital ended up generously giving them a car seat and sending the baby and his proud momma back home in the taxi while I gave Jeremy a ride back home. In the process of all of this excitement for the two of them and for me, Jeremy and I got to talk for about an hour about his story.
Jeremy was in the prison system a while back due to drug possession, and he is now out and clean, employed and with his family and their new baby. Life has been quite the circle of events from really hard to really “on track”. In the prison system, Jeremy learned how dark life can get, how violent a group of men can be toward each other, how dangerous life can be at times. This is caged life, Jeremy had to guard himself from being stabbed to death or being asked to stab others to death in order to keep from being killed by gang members. Life in this context is difficult to really call life at all. For him, it was a living Hell. They call where he was The Green Mile.
When he first arrived there, a 6 foot 8 inch burly brother in the Lord they called “Hit Man” approached him and told him straight out, “Read this. Read it again. And then do what it tells you to do. You have plenty of time here.” What he handed him was a Bible. Jeremy took it and said, “Okay, whatever.” But as he witnessed this Hell on Earth, he took Hit Man’s words to heart and told one of the other inmates, “All I’m going to do during my year here is read this book.” Hit Man had told him its the highest read book in history, so he figured he should take him seriously.
Jeremy ended up reading through the whole Bible three times. As he read, he was changed by the stories, and he began to realize and profess that God and Christ are real. These are true stories. I can bank my life on this Gospel of Christ, and I can find my life in this Gospel of Christ.
Now Jeremy lives with his family in Tuolumne and Jeremy is leading his family to meeting and encountering the living and true Jesus Christ.
Jeremy and I committed to seeing each other at the Friday morning Bible study going forward. May God be honored by this changed life.