Judith decided to go and see her friend, Nella. She needed to talk to someone. She had asked James to give her some time to think about everything. “I can’t wait for someone for 5 years just because we had something going on. I am not getting any younger. And besides, I need financial support. My sisters have misused all the profits I have been getting from my shop. And now all these things I have heard about him have just put me off” she thought to herself.
She parked her car and knocked on the door. Nella had been waiting for her. She made her some tea and they started talking. She explained everything that James had told her
Nella: Judith, let me just tell you something. All of us were certain that this guy is a thief. I thought of all the things he had been buying for you: a car, designer shoes and clothes, taking you to expensive restaurants and even giving you money to set up a shop. James is right. He was controlling you with his money because he knew you needed it. And to tell you the truth, I actually prefer James to Michael. James might be a talkative guy, but he seems to be honest. I fear men who are too quiet like Michael. They are dangerous. Moreover, you and Michael had nothing in common. How can you continue with a guy that is not even capable of removing your bra! An old virgin! Please!
Judith: You are right. He definitely took me for a fool. But he does not know that I am smarter than him. Useless thief! I am going to say yes to James’s proposal. I need to move on with my life. Why should I sacrifice my life for a thief? I am not Jesus please!
They both laughed. Judith sent a message to James “Hey Jamie, let’s give it a try”. James called back immediately. “Oh my God! Judith, I will make you the happiest woman on Earth, trust me. “he said happily.
The two started seeing each other and James was head over heels for Judith. He spoiled her with all sorts of gifts. For the first time in his life, he had actually fallen in love. He didn’t want to let her go. Judith had gotten over Michael quite fast. She was enjoying the love and affection she was receiving from him.
Meanwhile, Michael’s heart was left broken. He spent sleepless nights thinking about Judith and what she was up to. He tried, many times, to convince himself that she had moved on, but found himself thinking about her time and again.
James decided to propose to Judith. She was excited and said a big Yes to him. James put on her finger the ring that Michael had ordered before he went to prison (James had been keeping it for Michael).
Two years had passed. James and Judith were married and had a son whom they named Lucky.
One day, Lucas went to meet Michael during lunch time, as they were in different cells.
Lucas: Hey man. You don’t look too well. I hope you are still not thinking about that girl?
Michael: It’s just so hard for me to get her out of my mind. It’s been two years now and she has not even visited me. What is surprising is that even my own friend James has stopped visiting me. I had asked my parents to call both of them several times, but none of them has responded. I feel so abandoned.
Lucas: I know you will be shocked to hear me say this. God has a plan for you Michael. Sometimes, we might not understand why things happen in a certain way, but God surely has a plan.
Michael looked at him surprisingly and said “Hmm, since when did you become a Godly person?
Lucas: since the day I set my eyes on this”
Lucas showed him a piece of paper. It was the same leaflet that the young lady had given him
Michael: Hey, where did you get this? I once had something like this
Lucas: sure. It’s yours. When we were being transferred to this main prison, you had been taken out for your trial. I picked it up from the corner of the cell where you had thrown it and put in in my pocket. A few days ago, I started reading it and believe me, it has changed my life. I am not very good at reading because I didn’t reach a higher level in my studies, so I have been reading it with patience. I decided to also join people who get together whenever a prison evangelist comes to teach the word of God
Michael: A prison evangelist?
Lucas: Yes, that’s what we call him. He is a young pastor from a certain church in town. He comes twice a week to teach us about God and many other things. You know, back on the streets, I used to hate these so called preachers. I almost hit one of them when he came to tell me that Jesus loves me. I couldn’t imagine that there can be a God and yet he took my parents away from me and allowed my uncle and aunt to mistreat me. But ever since I read this leaflet and started attending the Bible study here, I have learnt a lot from him. I now have inner peace within me and I have even asked God to forgive me for all the wrongs that I have done. I realized that God cannot force Himself on me. He has given me the right to choose between good and evil. I made my own choices and suffered the consequences. You could join us today if you want.
Michael: Hmm. I will try. But you have to understand that you and I have two different stories. You are guilty of all the charges, but I am not.
Lucas: Just come, I beg you
That afternoon, Michael followed Lucas to the meeting hall. They found some few people waiting. Michael was expecting to see an elderly man, but to his surprise the Evangelist was a young man. He wore a pair of jean trousers and a T-shirt on which was written “Jesus, the reason for my existence”. Michael and Lucas sat down. After a couple of minutes, the Evangelist opened the meeting with a prayer and then started talking, with a smile on his face
Evangelist: Hello dear brothers. I am happy that you could all make it in here. I bless the Lord for granting us life and the privilege to study his word. Wherever I go, many people ask me why I am so enthusiastic about this Jesus. The only answer I give them is “Because I know deep within me that I am no longer the same person ever since I met Him”. Now I am sure that you all might have heard my story over and over, but I always like to repeat it time and again. I was a prisoner just like you. The worst part was that I was a double prisoner: A prisoner of Satan and a prisoner of the law. I was a bad guy. Did all sorts of things but I found grace, mercy and love in God. Jesus restored my dignity. I made a vow to Him, that if He could get me out of prison, I would start a Prison Ministry. I know that many of you are just victims of circvmstances. But I have good news for you. You can be free. Total freedom is not just being out of this physical prison, it is being free from the spiritual prison that Satan has locked us in.
Michael broke down and started crying. Lucas put his hand on his shoulder and comforted him. The Evangelist walked toward him and said “Brother, Jesus is here to wipe your tears. I see so much pain and anger in your heart. Jesus can heal you. Just accept Him”
Michael cried yet and again and was led into a prayer of confession. His fellow prisoners lifted up their hands and prayed for him. The Evangelist offered him a Bible and asked him to read it daily. From that very moment, Michael was no longer the same. He spent his time in prison reading the Bible, praying and talking to his inmates about what he had found. His parents noticed the change. “Michael, I now believe that God can change a man. You look so radiant and full of energy” his father told him
“Oh dad, believe me, I am more than radiant. The light I have received is from within me. I am ready to face the next 3 years without sorrow. I know it won’t be 100% easy, but one thing I know is that I will make it with Jesus on my side” Michael responded.
A certain night, Michael went to sleep and had a dream. He saw himself inside a very dark pit. He cried to the Lord for help. Then suddenly, a gentle hand reached out to him with a rope. He couldn’t figure out who the person was but he was finally out of the pit. When he got out, the person had disappeared. When he woke up, he tried to understand the meaning of the dream, but could not figure it out.
Two months after that dream, the prison warden informed him that he had a visitor. When he arrived in the visitor’s hall, he could not believe who he saw. It was Alice! His long lost girlfriend. Michael cleared his eyes to see if it was a dream. It was real. He sat down, starring at her like one who had seen a ghost.
Alice cried as she looked at him. He looked so different: He had become slim and had a lot of hair on his face, a sign that he had not been having proper upkeep
Michael looked at Alice. She was as beautiful as ever, even more beautiful than before. She had her long hair falling on her shoulders.
Michael: Alice is this you?
Alice: Yes Michael. It is me. I can’t believe I am seeing you today after so many years.
Michael: I want someone to tell me that I am not dreaming. Alice, you look so beautiful as usual. What brings you here? How did you find me?
Alice: I have been looking for you for so long. I sent you several messages on all social networks and even your phone, but I got no response. At first I thought you didn’t want to respond to me but I realized that you were no longer active on any social media. It seemed strange to me. One night I had a dream. I saw you inside a dark pit and heard a voice that asked me to help you get out of it. I knew it was the Lord. He handed over a rope to me and I pulled you out. Then I woke up. I knew there and then that you needed help. I tried to get in touch with your sister but she told me that she was in boarding school. Your old friend James never responded to my messaged although I could see he is very active on social media together with his wife. So I had to take the flight with some savings I had made from my job and when I came I went straight to your work place. That is when I was told the whole story
Michael: James is married now? What’s the name of his wife?
Alice: I think a certain Judith or so
Michael: My God! Lord help me!
Michael explained everything that had happened, his relationship with Judith and his accusations.
Alice: Even if an angel told me that you were guilty, I would never believe it. I know you Michael. You can’t even harm a fly. You are the only man in whom I have had confidence. I have never stopped loving you all these years. When I gave my life to Christ, I was praying to God for a serious relationship, and I couldn’t get you out of my mind. Now that I am here, I promise you, I am not going to let you go. We will fight this battle together and by God’s grace we shall win. I love you Michael
Michael cried and, looking up, he said “Lord, I am not worthy of your love, but I thank you for this gift”
Alice was asked by Michael’s parents to stay with them instead of spending money in a guest house. She had made up her mind not to go back home until Michael was set free. She paid him regular visits and prayed with him. Michael was full of joy and was eager to come out and meet the love of his life.
To be continued