Monday, November 29th, I received the best Christmas gift I could ever possibly receive. I was in Home Depot ordering a new blind for our parish hall when I suddenly heard the voice of a lady behind me exclaim, “Joy!” I turned around and as she drew closer to me, I looked deep into her eyes to try to figure out where I knew her from. She sensed this and excitedly began to recount where we met: “Twelve years ago you came into the County Jail to conduct a Bible Study and I was one of the incarcerated who attended your class. That encounter changed my life forever. I had lived a debauched life of drugs, alcohol, theft and sexual immorality for most of my adult life, but after you introduced me to Jesus Christ and His teachings, I was so convicted I gave my life entirely over to Jesus Christ.” She thanked me profusely and asked if she could hug me. Tears slowly made their way down my cheeks as I thanked God for allowing me to receive this precious blessing.
I was next on my way to JC Penny’s that day to do some Christmas shopping and this time I felt a tap on my shoulder. Startled, I turned around to find a beautiful young woman whose face I immediately recognized. She shyly, and softly asked, “Do you remember me Joy?” I took her face in my hands so she could see the sincerity in my eyes when I spoke, “Of course I remember you. I have never stopped praying for you.” She was with a young man. The inquisitive look on my face led her to explain that he was her husband. I realized she wanted me to know she was now married as I stress our Lord’s teachings about sexual immorality which includes fornication and adultery. We gave glory to God as we embraced, and I went on my way with a huge smile on my face.
God had allowed me to see that the time I spend teaching the incarcerated about His Son, and showing them His love, has borne good fruit. God reads our hearts. Mine had been wondering if the many hours I spend amongst the incarcerated was doing any good. He gave me the answer in these two Divine encounters. I couldn’t ask for a greater Christmas gift! Glory be to God!