The Gift of a Food Tray Leads an Inmate to the Light of Christ

by Chaplain Darrell Hunley, Pocahontas State Correctional Center

Today I was working in my office in the prison when my inmate clerk jumped up and excitedly ran into the hallway. He had just seen an old friend. The two men had huge smiles on their faces, and they hugged each other like they were long lost brothers.

After they said a few quick words and waved goodbye, my inmate clerk came back into my office and sat back down in his chair to continue his work. It was then that he started telling me the story of how he had met this man. He said that many years ago at another prison – right around Easter time – he first saw this man. The man was a fairly new inmate and was sitting alone in the dining hall, with no food tray and not even eating. He looked very dejected and sad. My clerk later found out that the man wasn’t getting any letters from anyone and that so far no visitors had come to see him.

Led by the urging of the Holy Spirit, my clerk felt compelled to just walk over to this man’s table and give him his food tray. Neither man really looked at the other, and no words were exchanged. Then several evenings later this man walked over to the table in the pod, where my clerk was leading a Bible study. The man sat down and listened to the Bible passage being discussed. Then the man did something that totally surprised both my clerk and all of the other men sitting at the table. He asked them if they would please pray for him (which they did), and then right there on the spot that night he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior! Later that evening, the man told my clerk that the reason he had accepted Christ was the fact that no other person in his entire life had ever done something special for him like my clerk had done in giving him his food tray. The man said that it was that very act that made him want to become a Christian. He told my clerk that he wanted to follow his lead and to be a good example to the other men at the prison!

It turns out that on that morning in the hallway (during the big “bear hug”), the man told my clerk that what he had done that day in giving him that food tray had changed his life forever. Because my clerk had followed the Lord’s direction and leading, this man said that his life had been transformed from darkness to LIGHT! Because my clerk had demonstrated the love of Jesus, this man would never know the darkness – in this life or in Eternity. (Matthew 8:12)

My inmate clerk and I ended our time of working and talking that morning by praying together and thanking God for both leading us and for giving us the desire to follow His direction. Praise God!!!

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