As it pulls closer, I see the driver is not alone. In the back seat is a young man, maybe 18 years old, white, slick-headed.
The kid isn’t talking. He’s looking around, maybe at other cars, maybe at people walking freely on the outside. Maybe one last time.
I watch him look. I wonder what he’s thinking. Is he hopeful he’ll be set free soon? Or does he feel sick to his stomach, wondering if he’s so busted for something stupid he did that will lead to a life in jail?
If he could relive his last 24 hours (or whatever time span that got him most in trouble), would he do things differently? Would he exchange past decisions for future freedom?
I think a lot about freedom these days. I thank a lot for freedom.
Jeff and I have this thing now: whenever we hear of a lock-down situation (it could be anything, but we’re particularly sensitive to religious cases), we’ll look at each other, shake off our imaginary shackles, and proclaim, “Free!” with a grateful heart.
Because as believers in Christ, we are free. And even though we’ve both been liberated for years, lately we’re exploring our freedom down new avenues. And loving it.
We don’t have to ride in the back of a police car for sins we committed in our past or may commit in our future. While we’re still subject to consequences for our conduct, we’ve been released from an eternal sentence of doom. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
It’s not about us keeping or breaking rules; it’s about living our lives with a higher purpose—a redeemed purpose—through the Spirit who’s alive in us for God’s glory.
Being pardoned when we deserved to go to jail inspires us to pursue holy lives.
I’ll likely never know what happens to the boy in the back of the police car. Maybe he’ll turn his life around and find freedom like I know. By grace, he has that option, whether or not he serves time behind bars.
Because true Freedom is an inside job. I pray he finds Him.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
[Eddie James Ministries – shaking off the shackles]
* * *
Day 22 of . . .