Tears Inside Prison

“For you do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:16-17 NASB

One Day, when I was a prison minister, a Russian man stood up after accepting Jesus as his Savior. As tears streamed down his face he sobbed: “I can’t forget what I’ve done to so many people”. Pictures of terrible things he had violently done to many flooded his mind. Confessing his sins to Jesus had opened a floodgate of pain and pictures of blood.

I helped him the best I could by urging him to put the pain and pictures in the hands of the Lord who died a terrible death on the Cross for all his sins. This calmed him down a bit and his sobbing lessened, but I could tell there was still an ocean of pain straining to be set free.

I then remembered something that I had learned during my career as a psychologist. Pain often must be released the way we sometimes deal with an onion, by unpeeling layer by layer. Cutting abruptly through an onion will often overcome us by what is released.

I still pray for that prisoner that he has learned to not bury those memories when they come up but admit them and place them each time in his Lord’s loving and forgiving hands while living a Psalm 51 life.

Claim the answer to living with painful memories: “No Matter the Crime, One Layer at A Time.”

“Dear Father, please help us to understand that no matter our experiences the answer to living with painful memories is the same as for prisoners: no matter the crime, one layer at a time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Dr. Bob AZ