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"Wordy" Wednesday this week...


A number of years ago, through a series of events and musings, I changed from being in favor of the death penalty to being opposed. There are a host of reasons why I changed my position, but I truly don't intent to start a debate or an argument here. I respect your opinion, whatever it is, even if I hold a different one. 

But as an outgrowth to my opposition, I began to correspond with inmates who were on death row as a way of sharing my faith. I wrote to about 8 men altogether. Three of them were executed. One was released. Two died in prison after years of incarceration. One remains on death row but I stopped our correspondence when it became apparent that he was just playing games. One of them I remain friends with after 25 years; he has been resentenced to life without parole.

One of the men who ultimately died of cancer while on death row was an artist. The prison gave the inmates advance warning that they were to have all of their art supplies confiscated. The inmate, who went by the nickname "Buck", asked me if he could paint something for me before the paints were taken. I told him that my favorite gospel story was that of the woman who had been bleeding for decades but was healed when she touched the hem of Jesus' robe. This story is told in Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:24-34, and Luke 8:42-48. Here is the painting Buck sent me:

Buck copied the story over for me on the reverse side:

When this woman was suffering from her illness, she would have been shunned by her community as being "unclean". When Jesus revealed to the crowd that she was healed, she would have been reconciled to those from whom she'd been cut off. 

If Jesus can heal this woman and this leads to her being reconciled to her community, perhaps there is hope for us.

Perhaps there is hope for Buck.

God bless you.

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