From Robbing Banks into God’s Arms.

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Photo by: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:AgnosticPreachersKid

One of my followers has asked me to write about my family and how God worked in their lives. For many in my family, it has been a slow growth from child to adult, always believing in God. However, there is one family member who met God while he was in prison.

He doesn’t want me to share his name so I’ll call him Stephen. Stephen was raised in a home of physical abuse and neglect. His father beat him and his siblings, later his step-father did the same. Both fathers were alcoholics. They also beat Stephen’s mother. They were in great poverty and sometimes there wasn’t enough to eat.

Stephen started getting into trouble with the law and went to prison at 16  for the first time for robbing a postal office. He got a year hard labor for that. He never went back home to live. He moved from city to city, getting arrested and sentenced for assault. He was in lots of fights. He sold drugs.

When he was 24, he lived in a large city. He met a man who came from a small prairie town. This man knew when the town bank received it’s money. The nearest police were many miles away. It looked like a sure thing to rob this bank and get away. Stephen said he was in.

Another man joined them. They bought rifles and duffel bags for the money. They drove to the town. They got out of the car with the rifles and went through the first door. But Stephen said, “Something’s wrong.” He said he just felt something strange. He told his friends to follow him and leave. As they walked back through the front door they were surrounded by police and arrested. It turned out the third man had ratted on them to get a lesser sentence on a previous crime. The police had been waiting for them.

At the trial, Stephen expected to get 8 years. He was surprised to get only 2 years. Apparently, if they had walked through the second door, the sentence would have been much harsher.

Stephen was used to going to jail, but he hated it there. You had to be tough and fearless and make the other inmates afraid of you. He did that in every jail he was in. He was an expert fighter and would have killed someone if he had to.

The warden of this large prison was a Christian. There was a punishment room called, “The Hole,” that you were sent to if you caused trouble. Stephen was sent there for fighting in the cafeteria. The warden had a Bible put in each of these cells. That is all that was in the room besides a cot and toilet.

Stephen started reading the Bible and finished reading it the month of his detention. One night, while he was sleeping, he heard God call out his name, “Stephen, Stephen.”

The next day, he was back in population, but had been sent to a part of the prison that had a lot of Christians in it. A Christian said something to him and Stephen came towards him to hit him. He heard the same voice say to him, “Stephen, if you hit him, I will come down on you like a ton of bricks.”  (This is what Stephen would say to people.) Stephen stopped walking towards the man. He was stunned. He turned around and went to his cell and cried, “like a baby,” he said. He was amazed God would speak with him. He gave himself to God that moment.

So, that is the story of a man in our family. He got out of that prison and 40 years later is still a Christian. He had strong faith in God right away. He brought other inmates to Christ. Three of them were baptized when they got out.

Turn to me and be saved,

all you ends of the earth;

for I am God, and there is no other.   Isaiah 45:22

 

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD,

“Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow;

Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.

If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;

But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.

I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Isaiah 1:18-20

10 thoughts on “From Robbing Banks into God’s Arms.

    1. Yes, there is hope for everyone. My oldest daughter is growing in Christ day by day. Last night she told me what she wants to do in heaven and how much she is looking forward to being there. This from a daughter who would get angry when I mentioned God. She has become softened, unselfish and thoughtful.
      In my next post, I’m explaining why I can’t read blogs for awhile. It is just too difficult with the cataracts on my eyes. I’ll have surgery soon, I hope. I’ll have to catch up with everyone when I get back.

      Liked by 1 person

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