I sat on the pier during a vacation, reading my Bible and watching my husband fish. A young man approached us, suggesting we use different bait. He glanced at me as he fidgeted from one foot to another and said, “I’ve been in jail.” He pointed to my Bible and sighed, “Do you think God really cares about people like me?”
Opening to Matthew 25, I read aloud that Jesus talked about His followers visiting those in prison.
“It says that? About being in prison?” Tears brimmed his eyes when I shared how God considers kindness toward His children a personal act of love toward Himself (vv. 31–40).
“I wish my parents would forgive me too.” He lowered his head. “I’ll be right back.” He returned and handed me his tattered Bible. “Would you show me where to find those words?”
I nodded. My husband and I hugged him as we prayed for him and his parents. We exchanged contact information and have continued praying for him.
At one point or another, we’ll feel unloved, unwelcomed, in need, and even physically or emotionally imprisoned (vv. 35–36). We’ll need reminders of God’s loving compassion and forgiveness. We’ll also have opportunities to support others who struggle with these feelings. We can be a part of God’s redeeming plan as we spread His truth and love wherever we go.