“Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existents.” I stopped there, once again letting myself fall back onto the day I’d first heard this verse.
I was in a prison cell alone starring at the floor, my sentencing was almost through. And all I could think of was what happens now? I never thought I’d see life on the other side. I was twenty-six when I was convicted of murder of the second degree. I’d served an eighteen year sentence—I was now forty-four--I was going to be released in three days.
Clatter came from the other end of the hall. A guard was opening the door that led to the hall. I heard voices whisper.
“There you are, but I don’t think He’ll acknowledge you. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t listen, and you with that silly bible isn’t going to do him any good.” I heard the guard’s familiar voice say.
But the reply that followed I didn’t know. “Well thank you sir, but let’s leave that up to Mr. Tanner and God.” The foot steps followed then slow and measured like they were reaching for a propose. The guard’s loud angry clanking feet followed with reluctance. The guard banged his nightstick against the bars.
“33 got up someone’s here for you. I know, hard to believe you haven’t had a visitor in fifteen years. But you do.” I glance from the corner of my eye again. All I saw was the man’s khaki slacks and brown penny loafers.
“Whatever…good luck McGunner.” The guard walked off and stood back in the middle of the hall away far enough we had privacy but close enough that he could be here in a heartbeat if I went for his neck.
The man stooped to my eye level, though I didn’t face him then. However, from my peripherals I could see his was about the same age as me with light brown hair and a mustache.
“Micheal Tanner. I’m Tim McGunner, I know what you’ve done, but it doesn’t matter. You’re getting out in three days, and there’s a new life you have to live now, unless you want to come back here.” He paused and I looked at him, not because of what he was saying or for wonder where he was going with any of this. It was what he called me. Micheal Tanner. My name I hadn’t been called that in years, around here I was my inmate number.
I was touched; surprised that his man would call me by name I had to listen to what he had to say.
“I don’t know your heart or thoughts,” My heart? I hadn’t thought that way, but was my heart really where the death, destruction and torment desire ruled from?
“I don’t judge you for what you’ve done. That’s something I leave to the almighty,” Almighty?
“If you want to change, from the live you’ve lived that got you here, then I’d like you to meet someone. His name is Jesus Christ and he came to give you new life. I’m going to read you something now.” I nodded and the man looked through the book in his hands. The thin paper made a loud crinkle noise in the hall.
“God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life,” he looked up from his book and smiled.
“There’s another,” he said turning there. “Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.” He stopped and closed his book.
“Micheal, God sent his only son so that you might live a life with him. If you believe that he did this and ask him to live in your heart he’ll make you a new creature and give you a new way of living with love, joy and peace. Would you like to pray, to ask God to make you a new man?”
I looked at the book before me, the one he read and gave me after reading those verses. Those verses I held onto dearly. Before my inner man was one of death and evil. And now, is one of love and joy just like Tim McGunner had promised.
2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:16 God’s Word Translation.
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