I am touched by many of the guys at the center. Each man is unique and God speaks through them to me; and I hope in return God speaks through me in return. I believe He does. Of late there is one of the students, Dave that has captured my heart. To look at him, he’s a rough cut; no question if a conflict were to arise I would want him on my side. In some ways he reminds me of my son Richard who is blessed genetically with a large and unusually strong frame.
Dave has the prison tattoo of a tear under his eye, knuckles are scarred many times, and he explains matter of factly that these scars are the reality of prison life. Dave was the child of a broken home; his mother is Mexican his father is white. They lived in
The next day however, they returned to pick up a few more items and they weren’t in such a jolly mood, they expected a big discount on a bed they wanted to buy, and when I didn’t oblige they showed their less benevolent side. I could tell this may unravel so I stood firm explained my allegiance to the guys in the program and explained I can only discount on items that have been in the store 90 days or so. I salvaged the situation and we wrapped up the sale. But I could see the side of them my lead man had warned me about the night before. Now they wanted it all delivered and Dave is my delivery man along with another student. I was thankful it was Dave because I had no fear of sending him to these guys house, after all he is bulletproof. I talked with Dave and described the guys to him and warned him to keep it simple, be extra careful with the furniture because if they put a nick on it the whole thing will become a wrestling match over devaluation and it will likely all come back for a refund. This would not be a stretch. What next happened caught me by complete surprise; Dave was eager to meet these drug dealers and couldn’t wait to talk with them and hoped this was a ministry opportunity. He explained how he went downtown to witness to drug dealers and the Lord has used him to offer hope to many, and he was itching to see these guys to see what God would unfold.
Neither fear or anxiety entered his mind; he was off on a mission. He called them to let them know he was on his way and he spoke to them like long lost friends. They told him their car had broke down and asked him if he could give them a jump start. Oh no, my fears were about to unfold; I knew this was going to get screwed up and here was the first step. Before I shared my anxiety with Dave he gets a gleam in his eye and says,” Wow, we get an opportunity to do a good deed for them, the Lord is already preparing the ground.”
Here I had been filled with anxiety, worried this would end up in some big problem, or shouting match or scene of some kind; which I might add would not be the first I've seen of this kind while at the center; but Dave said, “Let’s huddle and pray that Christ will give me a word for these guys”. I sheepishly joined in the prayer trying to hide my lack of faith, but I couldn't hide the encouragement that Dave inspired me with. Here was a drug dealer that had been soundly saved by Christ and his heart burned to speak with other drug dealers and left in full anticipation of a blessing while I stood humbled in unbelief.
I left that evening before he returned, and I must say it wouldn't surprise me if we have two new drug dealers joining the program in the morning.
Dave is in the truck in the picture, the other man is Jay, who was a Professional bull rider.