Words create worlds.What you say has the power to mentally transport someone from where they are to where they could or should be.
Ironically, worlds also create words.
As I mentioned yesterday, our team met a couple of women in the afternoon who each had a unique story to tell. On the way to visit one of them, the tune “Lifesong” by Casting Crowns came on the radio. Our driver/host Levi likes to play worship music as we travel, whether it’s in English or Spanish. My toe was tapping along while I lightly sang along to the song.
When I say “lightly sang along,” I think you know what I mean. That’s means, “If I was alone, I’d really be singing out. Since I’m among random people, I won’t break social etiquette.” I once sat in front of a guy on a plane who sang opera music… the whole plane ride… but I digress.
After the truck stopped and we got out to meet the woman, I learned her story – from her fight with cancer, to the four young children she wonders about in terms of who will care for them if she dies. When we piled back into the vehicle and “Lifesong” continued playing, I got a whole new meaning out of it.
And so this afternoon… I sang worship songs in a prison.
We visited with several women who were in for crimes they were accused of or committed. I don’t have any pictures to share since the security didn’t allow for it.
What I can do is try to offer some words to create a world, and a world to create some words.
Imagine yourself standing in a jail cell door today as I did.
All around you are prisoners. They may not look like it, since they don’t resemble the actors from movies nor even have on the same colored jumpsuits. They look like mothers… sisters… wives… neighbors. They’re dressed in casual clothing.
But they’re all prisoners.
If you’re honest, you relate to this. There are things in your life that you have felt a prisoner to.
Urges. Pride. Lies. Addiction. Sin.
So there you are, standing in the middle of a jail cell that leads into a corridor of incarcerated community… and someone with a guitar begins to sing the Spanish version of songs you know well.
And you think, “I’ve sung worship songs in so many different environments… but never with the honesty of a prisoner.”
You begin claiming God’s grace in your life.
“Open the eyes of my heart… I want to see You…”
“Your grace is enough… Your grace is enough… Your grace is enough… for me…”
“I see his love and mercy… washing over all our sin.. the people sing… the people sing… Hosanna…”
“…I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the ways that He loves us…”
Have you ever sang worship songs in a prison?
Talk about a visual aid.
Words create worlds. Worlds create words.
I’m feeling quite broken over that right about now. Want to make sure that lasts.
May my lifesong sing to You.