Michelle and I went down to the mens pod and at first it sounded like they didnt have anyone for class. After a bit the found 4 men wanting to participate. We got into the classroom, got the tables set up and started class like normal. I sat and did the paperwork while Michelle taught Shaken Baby. While I was sitting there I noticed that one of the guys (who was sitting on the end closest to me) kept staring at me. It seemed slightly awkward but then, I think thats a common feeling we get when we teach the guys. All of the guys were kind and very engaged in the class. As Michelle finished up, I began to prepare to teach the Daddy Difference. As I taught the remainder of the class, there were several deputies and inmates that would walk past the classroom. At one point there were inmates outside the room that seemed to be entertained at the fact that there were two women in the room. I was annoyed and a bit distracted by that. Go figure!! We ended class by sharing with them that Christ loves them and thats the real reason that we come. They all seemed very thankful and even humbled that we would want to come. I remember saying that God has given so much love and forgiveness to us, we have to pass it on to others. Little did I know, He would be testing my true love and forgiveness on this very day.
This was a harder class for me. Ups and downs are common, but I saw a man today that was not on his best behavior. I guess I just expect that since we are ladies, they will treat us with respect. That is an unrealistic expectation and I needed to be reminded of that. On the drive home, God knew my heart was struggling with so many feelings. I believe that He wanted to give me some peace. A man came on the radio and quoted a Proverb that I'd never heard before.
14:4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
He followed up by saying "No Mess, No ministry" People are messy, we live in a sinful world, but we are called to love them just as they are. Just as Jesus did for us. I’m thankful for the reminder that we do this to share His love, even if that means loving people where things are messy.
I am honored to be a part of such a willing team of women. Women who trust that this is where God has called us, and trust that He will protect us while doing so. While I hate the situation, Im thankful for the lesson that I can take from it. Yet another day in jail, where I walk away with the blessing.
- Brittany Johnson