There are times in life when you meet someone, and you know you will never be the same. That person for me was a young man I met in the Lehigh County Prison four years ago. For the sake of privacy I won’t be sharing his name.
Even though we don’t communicate at all these days he still permeates my thoughts and prayers on an almost daily basis. Yesterday was no exception. I was driving back from having lunch with a friend and Carrie Underwood’s song “Temporary Home” came on the radio and I welled up with tears thinking about this young man. Here are the lyrics that start this song:
“Little boy, six years old, a little too used to being alone
Another new mom and dad – Another school – Another house
that will never be a home. When people ask him how he
likes this place, He looks up and says, with a smile upon his
face – This is my temporary home, it’s not where I belong –
Windows and rooms that I’m passing through. – This is just
a stop on the way to where I’m going. This is my
Temporary Home that’s all this young man knew until he was fourteen. One foster home after another, one abuser after another. Verbal, mental, physical, sexual abuse all part of his everyday childhood life. A young man filled with life and talent and torment. A heart of gold housed behind walls of pain. He was scared, scarred, alone, abused and so very damaged. Fighting was his only way to release painful emotions. Jail a constant presence in his life, cycling in and out of the penal system.
Sadly all most people see is a criminal. I on the other hand saw a smart, funny, witty young man who wrote his heart on paper and created masterpieces. I looked beyond the anger in his eyes and saw the scared little boy. I tried so hard to help him, as did the last family that took him in when he was fourteen. I showed him love and he felt peace in my home and he wanted that so badly in his life but it just seemed too far out of reach for him. So back to the life of anger and pain that he had grown so accustomed to he went. I’ve cried many tears and said many prayers on this young man’s behalf.
I think I will end this piece with a prayer for him.
Father I thank you for bringing this young man across my path. I ask Lord that wherever he is at this moment that you would let him know that someone out here loves him and only wishes the best for him. Let him feel your presence and peace surrounding him. Heal the broken places in his heart and mind. Help him Lord. Save him from himself. Change the direction of his life. Give him a reason to want to try. Bring people into his life to direct him to a place of wholeness and peace. Thank you Father for allowing me to see the real person that you created behind those angry eyes. Thank you for letting me feel his pain so I can pray for him. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Three things I can be thankful for today:
1. The privilege of meeting that young man in prison
2. My friend who bought me lunch yesterday and continues to
join me in prayer for this young man.
3. The opportunity to know this young man’s family. (his last foster home, they love him very much)