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Visiting Jesus?

November 6, 2013

Greetings,

Jesus said:

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me,I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”  Matthew 25: 34-40

About this time last year I spoke at the funeral of Ryan M. a 24 year old friend and former addictions counseling client of mine who committed suicide.  Yesterday I received a call letting me know that Ryan’s little brother Matthew M, age 21, was in our county jail.  I have been close to this family since Matthew was 9 years old.  Matthew’s mother was a client of mine when she was released from prison in 1997 and Grandma M. served many years with me when I chaired our county wide community consultation and Wrap Around team for at risk adolescents in the late 1990’s.

Matthew has been in and out of the legal system for many years with multiple incarcerations including a stint in prison.  He is in jail now for violating his probation again and is looking at possibly doing some more hard time in the near future.  I will be visiting him tomorrow afternoon and hopefully many more times.  I used to walk the jail’s catwalks having conversations with inmates quite often, but this will be my first time back since my PTSD flashbacks began in 1999.  Being in a confined area is definitely a PTSD trigger, but I really think I am up for this right now.

Alcohol and drug use is a HUGE contributing factor to Matthew’s problems.  He also has major anger issues.  Mix those things together and it is a recipe for disaster.  Matthew has had multiple charges of theft, destruction of property and public intoxication.  Still having said all that I still believe that Matthew at his core is a pretty good kid.  He was dealt a very difficult hand in life.  He never had a father or other positive male role models in his life and his mother missed most of his childhood due to her addiction and other mental health issues.  I also think that the suicide death of his brother last year deeply impacted Matthew’s psyche.  

In the weeks to come I hope to spend some significant time with Matthew.  I will be sharing with him the love, truth, grace and mercy of Christ.  When Matthew’s brother Ryan was 14 he accepted Jesus right in my counseling office after numerous conversations.  I hope to have similar talks with Matthew at jail.  I have always accepted and loved Matthew unconditionally and that will never change, but we will have some very deep and difficult conversations in the coming days.  His behavior needs to change drastically if he has any hope of avoiding spending many, many years behind bars.  The changes he needs to make are likely impossible unless he surrenders fully to Jesus.  I will share with him the complete truth in love, but I refuse to guilt or manipulate him with the Gospel.  There are tough choices for Matthew to make and he will need to own every single one of them.

His Grandmother and Aunt are very supportive and I will give him all that I possibly can in this process.  Our home fellowship is also totally willing to welcome Matthew into their lives upon his release from incarceration.  This young man needs a Jesus intervention so that he can go forward in this life.  With just a few bad breaks in your life this could have just as easily been you or your child facing years behind bars.  Please pray for Matthew and his entire situation?  If the Body of Christ rises up to this occasion we can make a real difference in this young man’s life.

Love and…..

Kirk Out ! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments
  1. bill permalink

    may the Father of glory open Matthew’s heart for His Message. And may He cause the wind of the Holy Spirit to carry you before his eyes as an open and living letter of Christ.

  2. Gary Graham permalink

    Holy Spirit work through Chris to call Matthew to Yourself! Strengthen Chris in Love and Peace to overcome any situation he is in which can potentially trigger any episodes. (Praying on the Full Armor of God). Work in Matthew transform his heart & mind. All Glory to you Abba! In Jesus Name, Amen!

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