A Hardened Criminal is Changed Through God’s Love

A Hardened Criminal is Changed Through God’s Love December 31, 2023

A Hardened Criminal is Changed Through God’s Love/Image courtesy of Bing Copyright Free Images

Yes, This Hardened Criminal was Changed Through Love

It’s amazing how God’s love changes people, including a hardened criminal.  Years ago, I was browsing through a box of used books in a neighborhood garage sale.  I flipped through one book that intrigued me that was written back in the 1930s, so I paid 25 cents for the book and took it home to read.

He was Abandoned at Birth by His Mother

The author of this book explained that his prostitute mother gave birth and promptly gave him up for adoption and disappeared.  He never knew who his mother or father were.

And so he moved from from one miserable foster care home to another, until he ran away at the age of 15, remaining homeless and living on the streets.

He Ended Up in Prison

So, he lived by stealing and fighting his way through life, and finally ended up serving a life sentence in prison for killing a man in a bar fight.  He was so mean that all the other prisoners, as well as the guards, steered clear of him, and he ended up in solitary confinement many times.

While in Solitary Confinement He Thought of His Miserable Life

Once, while in solitary confinement, he sat on the edge of his bed, stewing in anger over what a miserable life he had.  During his entire life he had never known a single day of happiness or love.  He thought about that word “love” and wondered what it really meant.

He shook his head and spat out, “I’ve never known a day of love in my life!  I don’t even know what that word means!  I’ve certainly never seen it!”

He Wondered What Love Felt Like

So, he thought about his miserable life and how he had been abandoned, being shuffled from one place to the next, abused and shown no love or kindness.  He thought, “I wonder what it feels like to be loved.”

Suddenly Light Poured into his Cell

And suddenly his cell was lit up with a beautiful light that poured down and surrounded him.  He sat there in total awe and wonder as this magnificent light engulfed him in love.  Wave after Wave of love poured down.  And he finally found out what it meant to be loved.

He Was Unable to Comprehend What Happened

He wrote that it seemed like those waves of love went on forever, but it was only a few minutes.  Once the light began to fade, he sat there, immobile, unable to comprehend what had just happened.

And he wondered why this light appeared so suddenly, and why did it happen at this time?  As he thought about the circumstances of what just happened, it hit him that the light appeared when he put out the thought, “I wonder what it feels like to be loved.”

His Desire to Know Love Triggered this Experience

Suddenly he realized that the light appeared when he PUT FORTH A DESIRE TO KNOW LOVE!

It occurred to him that never in his entire life had he ASKED FOR LOVE.  And that’s all he ever had to do – ASK.

 This Experience Changed Him

This experience changed him, and when the guard came to let him out of solitary confinement, even he sensed that something had changed in this man.  The other inmates who steered clear of him could also sense that something had changed in him.

Suddenly he had a strong urge to find a Bible and learn more about this thing called love.  He went to the prison library and found a Bible and opened it and began to read.  Matthew 7:7 stated, “Ask and it shall be given unto you.”

He Needed to Let the Other Inmates Know

He shook his head, thinking, “All I had to do was ask!  Nobody ever told me all I had to do was ask!”  And then it occurred to him that he needed to let the other inmates know that they could also experience God’s love IF THEY ONLY ASKED.

Sadly, he knew that he would remain in prison for the rest of his life.  Yet he felt that, through God’s love, he was already forgiven for his many crimes.  He could spend the remaining time he would serve in prison to wake up the other inmates.  He could tell them to simply ASK to RECEIVE love.

This Book Had a Profound Impact on Me

This book had a profound impact on me.  And even though I read it over 30 years ago, and lost the book somewhere along the way, I never forgot the truth that we need only ask to receive God’s love.

One Prison Program Really Helps Bring Love to Prisoners

I read an article that stated that 80% of prisoners who are released from prison will end up back in prison. Very sad.

Most Prisoners Grew Up with Little or No Love

I’ve also read that most of these inmates grew up with little or no love or guidance in their life.  As a result, prison becomes their family, and they can’t cope in the real world.  Most end up going back.

Prison Inmates Raise and Train Puppies

One incredibly successful program allows inmates to raise and train puppies to be service dogs for people who are disabled. These inmates are experiencing total unconditional love from that dog, and it has changed their life.

Those Inmates who Experience Love Never Return to Prison

Most of these inmates left prison when their sentence was up and moved forward into happy and productive lives.  I will continue to say repeatedly LOVE IS THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE! 

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