This is a place to share the bright spots in our world. If you have a bright spot to share, please do. I'm glad you're here! I hope your day is filled with extravagantly abundant blessings that exceed your imagination.
Bright Spots can grow in dark places.
The Bright Spot Report is a place for success stories
as well as a place for tips on how to create Bright Spots.
If you have a Bright Spot Story, please share it with us,
so we can create a world with more Bright Spots.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
TOM BURGER & A JAIL CELL PHONE
He's been locked up for close to six years now. Every year begins with some new hope. Every mid-year the hope seems to fade. There has been very few court dates and the process of justice (or injustice) moves slowly. Over the last six years, we have prayed on the phone many times. Jail cell phone calls are not cheap. For each thirty minutes of talk-time, the cost is twenty-five bucks. Most of the calls come at night; when I'm tired. I really don't feel like talking when I'm tired.
Last night when the phone rang, I was intently focused on a book that I'm in the process of writing. I did not want to answer the phone. The area code showing on my phone was unfamiliar so I took a chance thinking it would be a quick call. I soon realized that it was another jail cell call. My funds on the pre-pay prison fund were depleted so I needed to make another deposit. That whole process of entering your credit information to a recorded message seems to take a long time. I followed through and we connected - me and the prisoner.
Small talk is the rule during most of our conversations. Sometimes it's about basketball or baseball. Every once in a while the prisoner is moved to a new prison and we talk about the accommodations. Some places have amenities like a microwave, a pull-up bar and most importantly a Law Library. He ties to research the law and his case so he can be prepared for the court process. My advice to him that I've repeated many times is twofold:
- Be the kind of prisoner that the guards will feel sad when you leave because they respect you so much.
- You will be locked up until you figure out what God wants you to learn from the experience. God opens and shuts doors that no man can open or shut.
I took a page out of my good friend Tom Burger's notebook last night. Tom is a Prison Chaplain in North Carolina. When my wife and I visited Tom and his wife Sharon last year, we were honored to be able to visit the prison where he works (loves.) Tom doesn't work with people or work in a prison. He loves people and helps them know love in their hearts. Tom empowers people and helps them learn how to stand on their own relationship with God. The prison band is a true worship team, Tom helped put them together. When it came time to pray for people, it was fellow prisoners who prayed for fellow inmates. Tom empowered these guys to understand self-accountability - true discipleship.
Last night Tom was my role model - I asked the prisoner to pray, I empowered him like Tom would. His prayer was beautiful and gut wrenching. Instead of this young man just listening to my words about God, he opened up his heart through his words. He spoke of gratitude and asked for covering for my wife and I. He thanked God for the hope and inspiration we provide by being there for him. Guys on the "inside" need a lifeline on the "outside" and a cell phone can be a line of hope.
I don't know how many years this young man has left behind bars or how many jail cell calls we will have, but I know that Tom Burger has helped me to imprint Jesus on the young man's heart. Thank's Tom, Jesus loves you and so do we.
If you would like to learn a little more about what Tom Burger knows, read his book. http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Faith-Uncomplicated-Complicated-Life-ebook/dp/B00HZ3XXWM
Thanks for your time. Go do something nice for somebody.
Bob Kuebler is the Author of The Bright Spot Report. As the Founder & Director of Youth With A Purpose, Bob has spent the last 12 yrs. learning about pain and perseverance from inner city young people and their families. Healing starts with love and encompasses compassion and empathy. Our mission at YWAP is to inspire inner city young people to develop as leaders who overcome the mindset of violence and poverty. Bob is the Author of four books and regularly shares with many audiences about how God is redeeming our cities through young people.
Bob can be reached at 716-830-8240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.