Dana, 23, a convicted thief, was doing three to four years for stealing stereo systems from a retail outlet. His cell mate, Bobby, wasn’t able to out run the police with his Chevelle Super Sport on Route 23 in Rabun County, Ga. Bobby was sentenced to two years for destroying a guard rail, evading police, and speeding 110 mph in a 55 mph zone. Both men sat around all day doing nothing.
Bobby and Dana thrown together through the maelstroms of life were bored inmates. They were tired of their orange prison clothes. They were tired eating off of metal plates. They were sick of the talk from other inmates. All the other inmates talked about were drugs and how they got caught. Both of the men knew they were tried and convicted and nothing could change that fact.
Bobby’s grandmother came once a week at visitor time and always told Bobby, “I still have hope in you. I keep praying something will change you. You don’t have to be a fool like your father.”
Dana’s parents never came to see him. Dana told Bobby, “My parents are saving their money to buy me a car when I get out. They’ll come see me when it gets time for me to get out. I hate it here. I will do anything to get out. I need help if I’m going to make it.”
Bobby countered, “You have to have hope like me. I’ve got a future. If I fix up my Chevelle I can run bootleg and I have a girlfriend waiting for me.”
Dana asked, “Why doesn’t she write?”
“Her Daddy and Mom would kill her if they knew she was dating me. We have a special relationship.”
“Oh. Well, my Mom always said I was smart. One thing I can do is learn about God. I never have time for God once I’m on the outside. Now, I’ve got all the time in the world. Maybe, I can learn something that will help me.”
Bobby drawled, “People that turn to God in jail turn into backsliding hypocrites once they get out.”
“I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ll go to Bible study twice a week and I’ll try to use the golden rule. You do nothing. I bet I go farther than you by the time we get out. I’ll bet you a carton of Marlboro Reds.”
“It’s a deal,” exclaimed Bobby. They shook hands.
In the next few weeks Dana turned on his charm. He attended Bible study twice a week and prayed every day. Every chance Dana got he tried to be kind, thoughtful, and understanding. Bobby rolled his eyes as he watched Dana put on his act.
After two months, a jailer came up to Dana, “I’ve noticed you’ve been handling yourself pretty well in prison. We got some outside detail work if you’re interested. It’ll get you out of prison three times a week.”
“Yes sir,” replied Dana.
Dana came over to Bobby’s bunk and punched Bobby in the arm. “Hey, I’ve got outside work – hot shot. All I have to do is be cool.”
Bobby frowned, “I hate it here. If I didn’t see it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m going to Bible study and start praying. Maybe I can get some outside work, also.”
In a few months both men were working outside. By being kind, respectful, and truthful, they developed friends.
Dana got out of jail first for good behavior. “Keep the Marlboro Reds, Bobby, I’ve given up smoking. My mom will be proud of me.”
When Bobby got out his grandmother hugged him, “I know you can make something of yourself. Come live with me and we’ll work on getting you a job.”
“Ok, grandma, but first I need to go see Jeanine.” Bobby headed directly to his girlfriend’s house. “I’m out. I’m back. Jeanine, I love you.”
“You better slow down, Bobby. Since you’ve been gone I’ve accepted Christ in my life. I’m not sure I want you in my life anymore,” said Jeanine.
“Baby, I’ve accepted Christ, too. See, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1, NIV).
“Oh, Bobby you’ve changed. There’s hope for us. What made you change?”
“You might say it started out as an experiment.”
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