The visitation room was as cold and as unwelcoming as her son’s face.
“Mom, I don’t want you here!”
“I know you don’t, Son!”
“Don’t you ever come again!”
“I’m sorry, my son, that’s not going to happen! I will come, and if you refuse to see me, I will sit in the waiting room until visiting hours are over.”
Frustration washed over his face.
“Mom, you can’t afford to drive back and forth to this prison. It’s two hundred miles here and two hundred back home!”
“Don’t worry about that! I’ve taken a second job, and every time I save enough money, I’ll come to see you!”
“That’s insane! I don’t want you to do that! Don’t you ever come see me again! I mean it!”
“I have to come! You’re my son! Nothing is ever going to change that!”
“Mom, what part of forty-five years do you not understand?”
“I will come as long as I am humanly able.”
“I killed a kid! I don’t deserve for you to come and see me!”
“My heart aches every day for the loss of that child’s family, but you killed a child, you didn’t kill my love!”
“How can you still love me after what I’ve done?”
“Son, when you were born and I first held you in my arms, I pledged to you my love. I didn’t say that I would love you only if you were good. I promised to love you—period.”
“That doesn’t make any sense at all!”
“Well, what you have to understand is that I have a Father who loves me with that kind of love! He didn’t say He would love me only if I was good. Thank God, He pours out His love on me even when I’m bad. Can I love you any less than my Father loves me?”
“It’s worthless, you coming to see me! My life’s over! I’ll rot in this place without ever feeling a drop of hope!”
“That does not have to be. You may actually be in this prison for forty-five years, but your spirit can be a free as the outside air that you can no longer breathe. You see, God is not limited by iron bars or guards. You have a choice: you can choose to rot in this prison, or you can choose to let your spirit fly free. But, son, whichever choice you make, I will continue to love you. There is nothing you can do to destroy my love. I chose to love you at your birth, and I will continue loving you until your death or mine.”
“Why would God want to make a filthy murderer’s spirit free?”
“Because that’s what He does! He takes the worst and makes them the best! He’s been doing it since the beginning of time! He does it because He can! He not only can do it, He loves doing it! That’s why He sent His Son to die, for people just like you.”
“Mom, do you know what that sounds like? Hope! I’d already given up on hope! You think that if I make this choice that I can have a quality life, even here in this rotten prison?”
“I know it, without a doubt!”
“Then I choose hope! I choose to let my spirit fly free! Can you guide me into this incredible new lifestyle of hope?”
“Oh, my son, this is most certainly the answer to the prayers I’ve been praying! Oh, my God, how can I thank you enough for your faithfulness. Guide this, my son, into your Kingdom!”
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