Prison Diary: Brenden's Letters

My son Brenden is a sophomore in college. When he left his bedroom here at home his freshmen year, he didn't quite get it all cleaned out. And last summer, when he moved back home, it filled up some more. So over Thanksgiving one of the things I helped him do was to get the room fully and finally cleaned out. We took everything out of the room and he sorted through it all making two piles. Keep and Throw Away.

As he sorted we came across letters the men in the prison had written him.

During his Senior year of High School Brenden was baptized. The men in the study relish news about my life. They don't get to have ordinary days and rhythms of life--family, job, church. They don't get to see movies or go out to eat. But they see all these things on TV. So they live vicariously through us. Have we tried that new burger at Whataburger? Are you going to the Star Wars movie?

So when Brenden was baptized I shared the event with them and wanted them to be a part of it. I asked them, as men who have been on this journey with Jesus for many years, to write a letter to Brenden, congratulating him on his baptism and sharing some encouragement and wisdom.

Then men responded, and as a part of his baptism Brenden got a stack of letters from the men in the study. And last Christmas Brenden got to meet a lot of the guys when we handed out Christmas Sacks. Christmas Sacks is a ministry of local churches where we give a gift sack--mainly food, socks and necessities--to every man out at the prison. Volunteers hand deliver the sacks to the inmates. Last year Brenden came along with me and got to talk and shake hands with many of the guys in our study as we handed out sacks.

Anyway, we came across those baptism letters while cleaning out his room.

He put them in the Keep pile.

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