It was a summer evening in a satellite prison when we connected with Cassidy. Middle-aged, postured to disappear into the doorway where she leaned; her brown hair draped loosely around her neck and shoulders and a slight smile on her worn face, she stood patiently.
My husband, Clark, and I were there to interview women as potential residents into a transitional home where we serve.
We greeted Cassidy and gathered in a small, sparsely furnished room of 4 plastic chairs and a table to get to know her.
As the interview began, Clark asked her to tell us her spiritual background. Some recent experiences in a large prison and even a baptism there were reported in a soft voice. She went on to speak of attending church services in prison she was now in. Yet, instead of bringing clarity, more questions came to mind. I think our problem was how impersonal the experiences appeared to be to her. We inquired of her upbringing, searching for more answers. Church or Christian background was minimal. After listening and finding no path to Jesus, I launched a question to her. “Ok, Cassidy, so who is Jesus to you?” As her head drooped, tears cascaded down her face. In a raspy voice, she said, “well, ma’am. I’m not really sure.”
This let us know one thing for sure. She had been chasing God, trying to find Him through religious meetings, but she had not found Him for herself.
We explained this spiritual dilemma which struck a chord with her. I assured her, given the fact she was searching for God, she would undoubtedly find Him. Clark began to go through the scriptures using a tract, and her tears increased as she understood who she was concerned about who God is. As moments passed, her spirit continued to soften. It was apparent she was hearing what her soul needed. The presence of the Holy Spirit accompanied our talk, and soon Cassidy’s humbled voice prayed a prayer of salvation. Understanding who she was talking to and what only He could do for her engulfed her.
When she was finished, she wrote her spiritual birthday on the tract as proof of her eternally significant prayer. We gave her some “assignments” so she could interact with God’s Word and also some assurances and promises for the days ahead. We walked away in the summer twilight, knowing the search for God was over for Cassidy. Peace and gratitude looked good on her. In stripes or not, she had finally found the One who would give her identity beyond her past. She was…finally forgiven and free.
Now the LORD is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17