The day will be forever etched in my memory and in the deep and hidden places of my heart. It was November 29, 2015. A year ago yesterday. I’d been at prison for several hours when I got the call to the warden’s office. This is never a good thing. The news had come, and it was going to hit even harder. A mother’s teenage son had been killed in a gang fight. But not any mother… P was one who had already felt the shattering loss of a child due to the brutality of her boyfriend. That horrific incident landed her in prison, and now she’d lost yet another. With my heart breaking, I called this young mom to the chapel. I met her at the gate, and the short 25-30 steps to the chapel door seemed like a marathon. Her eyes searched mine; my voice gave way. How would I ever find the words? But more importantly, how could I ever convince her that God was good. That God loved her. That God was faithful and could be trusted. How would I ever… I sat with P about two hours on the floor of my office in the chapel. We wept together. Two mothers’ tears mingled, and her loss was my loss. Her pain was my pain. And God’s arms held both of us.
With Christmas just around the corner, I knew it would be harder than ever for P. I checked on her frequently and prayed for her as if her life depended on it because it did. I asked her to attend the Christmas program at the chapel, and I told her I would sit with her. She did, and I did. And once again, we wept together as we were reminded that a baby changes everything.
Fast forward to yesterday when once again I met P at the chapel gate. This time she wanted to come see me. The smile she wore reached all the way to her eyes, and I had no doubt to her heart as well. We chatted like old friends, and I marveled at our mighty God who works in ways I can’t fathom. P told me there were so many things she wanted me to know… things she had learned about God in the last year. “Miss Trae, I’ve been reading the Bible you gave me.” “God is so good. I’ve been telling my momma about Him, and she has started going to church, and my younger son, too.” She chatted on, “I’ve discovered God is faithful, and I can trust Him.” And then the words I so desperately wanted to hear her say, “Miss Trae, God loves me.” Yes, P. He does.
And so yesterday P was the messenger instead of me. And her message was the Gospel in its simplest form. The Gospel is about finding Life through death. We don’t experience Love without loss.
And so I want to remind you: The hurting world is not limited to places behind fences, and I am not the only one called to be a messenger.
Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere.
Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.