I was freezing. Sitting in a cold metal folding chair. My feet on a carpet soaked with icy water. By all accounts I should have been miserable.

It had been freezing in Abilene for the last two weeks. And for some reason the heating system in the prison chapel had been turned off. In fact, the system seemed to be blowing cold air. And it was below freezing outside.

To make matters worse leaks had sprung up all over the ceiling. Buckets everywhere catching ice cold water dripping from the ceiling. Huge portions of the carpet soaked with water, almost forming puddles. My chair was in the middle of one of these heavily soaked areas.

And those folding metal chairs aren't too cozy in cold damp conditions.

Such was the state of the chapel out at the prison for our Monday night bible study.

And we couldn't have been happier.

Because of staffing shortages and the weather our study hadn't met in a few weeks. So this night, all back together again, felt like a reunion. Hugs, smiles and laughter all around. It was good to be together again.

To sing together. Pray together. Talk about Jesus together.

We were in a freezing cold, soaking wet room inside a maximum security prison. You could hear the drip, drip, drip of buckets collecting icy droplets. And guess what we talked about?

We talked about joy.

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6 thoughts on “Joy”

  1. And I'm guessing that if someone had informed you before hand that you would be discussing joy in a freezing, water soaked room, you might have remarked, in one fashion or another, "Oh, man; what a bummer". But, there's something about BEING there and DOING it that changes everything, isn't there.

  2. Richard,
    I have a favor to ask.
    Your theological and psychological insights are very important to me.
    I'm a male recovering from an eating disorder, and I cannot for the life of me find any substantial theological/psychological reflections on body image in Christ, especially for males. I have a hard time getting into body image literature that tells me to submit to my non-existent husband.
    I'd be intrigued to read your thoughts on the matter, and would EXTREMELY appreciate it if you would post about this in the near future, or would respond to me and we can have a conversation about it. It would be extremely helpful for me, as I currently have little to go on.
    Thank you.

  3. Hi Jacob, I'm honored you would look to me to take on the subject. Honestly, I haven't done a lot of thinking or reading about body image, but I'll give it a think.

  4. Sorry to put this here, but I don't see contact information on the blog.

    Is "Unclean" out of print? I've been trying to order a copy, and having a really hard time. (I realize Amazon still has some, but I prefer to support my local independent book store when possible)


  5. You're book Unclean was influential, and your blog, among many, has been quite insightful on my journey. Thank you, I look forward to seeing your thoughts on the matter.
    Blessings, brother.

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