She was clean. She was sober. She was taking responsibility for her actions. And when she talked about Jesus, the soft light in her eyes told me she not only knew Him from the pages of the Book, but she knew Him in her heart. And because of that, she caught my heart.
Her name is Roberta and she was serving time in Cass County Jail awaiting her federal sentencing hearing. Because of her addiction to meth, she was facing charges not only for using but also for dealing and money laundering. How do I put that together with the reasonable, wise young woman who now sat before me? As a volunteer in the Jail Chaplains ministry, my husband, Larry, and I come one Saturday night a month to offer a church service to the women in Charlie Pod. When we get to talk to them, they've been forced to sober up and therefore allowed to start facing and dealing with the bad decisions and addictions that have brought them to this place in their lives. The chaplains Mike Sonju, and at that time, Amber Dahl, were pouring the truth into those who were willing to listen and I often get to see the fruit of their labors. Surely Roberta is one of those profoundly affected by the Good News of Jesus Christ her Redeemer.
Roberta is soon heading to federal prison. A piece of my heart goes with her, because if anyone is a purchased redeemed child of God, she surely is. I ponder the reason the Lord would allow her to lose 10 1/2 more years of her life to prison. And I wonder if it's God's grace to her to assure that she will never go back to meth. Such a large percentage of users go back to its powerful addictive draw once they are out of jail. Does this sentence mean she will be 10 1/2 years away from those who would pull her back into this destruction? God knows. And Roberta is in His loving hands. God will use her days for good purpose no matter where she is, but it is hard to see one so precious suffer the loss of her freedom. This is what the enemy does, he steals and he destroys.
Thank God for Jail Chaplains and the light they bring to those who have hit a very hard place, if not the bottom. Thank God for Sheriff Laney and the staff at the Cass County Jail who so graciously allow us to come in and offer "life and that more abundantly". John 10:10