Caring can take different forms and has the capacity to take us in surprisingly unusual directions. In prisons I have met men who were in protective custody and these men included convicted paedophiles. I also went to court during their trials and consequently met members of their families and also the victims. More recently I have had opportunity to mentor recently released prisoners.
It is so easy to become overwhelmed with their stories – dysfunctional family lives, no homes, no jobs, no friends, and very few social skills. Yet I am convinced that Christ’s grace and forgiveness does cover every circumstance, without exception.
Over the last 15 months I have mentored such a person, who is illiterate and has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He can best be described as ‘a soul without a home’, yet I have excellent conversations with him as I tell him about the power of forgiveness. He says he has never been loved, so the concept of being loved, let alone forgiven, is totally foreign to him.
Yet, I believe, Christ does provide hope. He also understands my capacity and ability to discuss the Good News of the Gospel with him. I know that God is at work. From my first meetings with him, God unfolded ‘His Work of Grace’ – consistently my attention was drawn away from the perpetrator, and my very being was flooded with thoughts of ‘Case, my Son died for this man, and the many victims, and My Son’s death on the cross is perfect – so leave the rest with me!’