So! It’s mid exam season and a LOT has happened to me over the last few months! This is the first of many posts about some of my thoughts/antics and stuff over the time I’ve been away! But I HAVE missed this, and yet again you’re looking at a (hopefully) new and improved me!
Today is Sunday and like a lot of people , or unlike a lot of people, I went to church this morning. Big deal right? RIGHT! Today was my first ever prison service and it was actually LIVE!
Basically I song in a choir in my hometown and as we have been doing for years the choir has gone into prisons and taken a Sunday chapel for the inmates at the prison. Previously I’ve been too young to go along and do this and ever since I turned 18 I’ve been like I have to do it at least once in my life, it could be kinda okay.
So I had a 6am start today, trying to sort out uniform and being seriously tired due to studying a lot these days. I won’t lie, it was seeming like a bad idea when I left, my lids were heavy and I was makeup free with undone hair but there wasn’t any time to fuss about it.
We made it through all security checks and the full band was there and then we just waited. I was anticipating some dull kinda talk with a few of our songs to be sung, while the bored prisoners looked on at us. I was so wrong.
In the first session a prisoner testified (church language for shared with us) about how he had liver disease for 20+ years and only after some serious prayer did the treatment start working. I felt SWEET yaknow. I love to hear how people’s lives are being changed daily, and who they are becoming.
In our second session we had a bit of time between services and so as we Pentecostals do we started to sing… And I mean SAANG! While the prisoners were getting settled we ended up having CHURCH up in that building. For all of you who have never been to a ‘black’ church you need to experience it just once, just the music. It never fails to amaze me how God’s music can move people.
The prisoners were getting down, we were getting down, church just got live. I was like 9am and we were in full swing, it was just awesome! And post service a good 11-12 prisoners came and gave their lives to Christ, like wow. I’m gonna be even more churchy and say that the spirit moved today and be moved BIG.
The reason I’m sharing this is 1) because God is incredible and even if you can’t appreciate or believe that I’ll tell you anyway and 2) God stripped back a lot of my preconceptions about people today. I was expecting a bunch of rowdy, inconsiderate, uninterested men this morning just looking for some time out of a cell. In reality I found a group of people who were very human, very normal. Yes they were in prison and there were guards securing the premises. But they, not too unlike us came for more than what was visible.
It doubly hit me when the word was read and Paul expressed his desires for ALL followers of Christ – that they may truly know God for themselves, no matter what you have done because that DOESN’T MATTER. Prison or no prison. Black or white. Male or female. It’s on the table, whoever you are.
When I talk about the other half I don’t mean how the people in prison love. I mean the half that people don’t see. Is your other half seeking God? Does it want to and doesn’t know how? Mine is looking for more than what people see when they look at me. I am made for more than just existing and getting by, and I am convinced that everyone else is too, no matter who you are.
I won’t apologise for getting churchy because this is what I believe and I can’t apologise for that, but I hope you see where I’m coming from and were at least a tiny bit blessed this Sunday.