Saturday, March 30, 2013

One Easter morning.

The year is 1992. A small prison chapel near Denver packed with prisoners, sitting quietly holding thick, heavily worn Bibles, waiting for the speaker.  It is a special occasion and they are looking forward to it.

In a few minutes, Chuck Colson enters to address these men.  There is no where else he would rather be on an Easter morning.  He loves the prisoners and they sense that about him.

A former White House powerbroker and Special Counsel to President Nixon, often referred to as the "hatchet man," Colson had a reputation as unscrupulous and abusive of the power of the office. The prestige and power became his ruin; eventually serving time in a federal penitentiary for his involvement in the Watergate scandal.

It might be said that it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

In the chapel early that morning, Colson tells his attentive audience, "Never forget Jesus proclaimed . . .   good news to the poor and . . . freedom for the prisoners . . . "
Colson understood what it meant to live behind bars and he had their rapt attention.
I , too, was spellbound when, years later, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Colson at a Presidential Prayer Breakfast. Giving me his undivided attention, I saw before me a humble but passionate man.  Nothing of the personality the press hounded following his conversion; certain that it would not last, ready to catch him with their cameras as he fell.  Here was a man, with a quiet confidence, a humility that flowed from a quiet strength and a passion for his work.  Work not returning him to the pinnacle of power but to the lowest of prisons.  A man changed by the power of God.  Changed to serve and to speak the truth in love.

The press was sure he was continuing to grab attention and fame; it was a gimmick.  But his becoming a follower of Christ following Watergate was very real.  A man held prisoner to his own greed for power and ambition and fame became a free man while serving time behind bars.

I, too, know what it's like to be a prisoner.  A prisoner of my own making; my own self-tyranny and pride and want.  Refusing to bend the knee; a prisoner of my own heart.  But Jesus sets us free from that prison and it is the most liberating experience known to mankind. Freedom to walk in grace and truth. I am freed too.

And that's why there is no other place he would have chosen to be than at a prison chapel on Easter morning.  Sharing the good news about freedom.  About Easter.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing, Linda! I am grateful to have been invited to read more into your heart and your stories. Well-written. And, for all your efforts, the blog page looks great!