Finding an Angel in Jail

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Mosaic United Methodist Church is reaching and loving people like Jesus. They’re finding that when you love like Jesus sometimes you end up getting to know the people that Jesus loved. One such person started attending their church through an Easter egg hunt community outreach; she was pregnant and her boyfriend was in jail. Mosaic’s members found ways to serve her through offering transportation and arranging a baby shower.  In the process she asked pastor Carolyn Moore if she would visit her boyfriend in jail. She did.

The first day I visited, I noticed that the guy had a lot of tattoos.  I asked him about them and he showed me several crosses and some other symbols I didn’t quite get.  Then he showed me the top of the tattoo on his chest.  From the looks of it, it was a huge angel printed across his body.  Not a little angel.  A big one.  Feathers and all.  
He said, “I just felt like I needed an angel to cover me.”
Then he told me this story of how he ended up behind bars.  It sounds as if it involved a woman.  He was in a bad situation, he said, and it got worse. Then it got dangerous and from the way he told it without really telling it (we were having this conversation in the jailhouse, remember), it sounds like the situation could have really messed up his life.
But then, as he puts it, God showed up.  Actually, it was a couple of cops.  They drove up just when things were going south and they arrested him.  To him, that moment was all God, all mercy.  It was God changing the course of his life when he didn’t have the courage to do it himself.  It was angels covering him, giving him another chance at life.  I’ve visited this young man several times since then.  It encourages me somehow to hear that he still claims this situation he’s in as a mercy.  The wings haven’t worn off.  He’s trusting God with his situation and taking his refuge under the cover of angels. – Carolyn Moore

Carolyn shares that his story reminds her of Paul in the city of Athens.  The people are surrounded by gods, but don’t know the one who can save them; neither can a tattooed angel save this man.  He needs Jesus and strangely, thankfully, circumstance has placed him in what may be a “spiritual incubator” where God may very well get hold of him. She’s also praying that real angels will surround him as God prepares the way of even his salvation.

Carolyn Moore is a pastor and church planter in Evans, GA. Her blog is Five Stones and she tweets @carolyncmoore. Her sermons are available on iTunes. She published a Seedbed resource titled “Things I’ve Learned Since Seminary” earlier this year which is currently available for free download.

Every Sunday, Seedbed will feature stories of how God is working through the people that make up the Church. We want to hear how God is working in your church. If you think your church should be featured in Seedbed’s Sunday series then email us at seedbed@asburyseminary.edu

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John Wesley Leek serves the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church as a Commissioned Elder. He is appointed as associate pastor to Natchez, Misssissippi’s Jefferson Street United Methodist Church. Jesus wrecked his life and he likes it. He probably likes you.

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