July 2008: Never Alone
From Tim Rose in France, a confession of faith from an inmate during Tim’s time as a prison chaplain
I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. – Matthew 25:36
As a prison chaplain, I met Thomas when he served time for drug trafficking. During our visits we talked about the Christian faith, morals, family and plans for the future. When he was released from prison he asked to be baptized, and he now holds a steady job and has a wonderful fiancée. This is the confession of faith that Thomas wrote:
My life is similar to many of your own lives,
When I came into this world I started to cry, and it wasn’t for the last time,
Then my mother put me to her breast and I smiled, and it wasn’t for the last time,
My life has had its share of ups and downs, moments of joy and moments of sorrow, of good and bad surprises.
After all these years of happiness and sadness I can assert that I was never alone; someone in the silence, in those secret places, was with me.
Many times I could feel his presence, sometimes comforting, other times inspiring, and sometimes calming. That outstretched hand, those open arms, that warmth in the cold night, that voice in the desert…it is Him, my Savior, it is Our Lord.
Yes, I believe in God, in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit.
I believe that he is the origin of all things,
I believe that he is just and that he loves all of us equally,
I believe in his word and in that of Jesus, his son, who he sent to help us find peace, love and eternal life.
Even though he was only a humble carpenter, I believe that he had the strength and the courage to offer us his life and to die on the cross for us. And, despite my rational side, I believe that he is resurrected and that he accompanies each of our steps.
I believe in forgiveness, which is so precious to Him.
I believe in His love,
But above all, I believe that he is alive and that he is with us today.
And these are the reasons that inspire me today to witness to my faith and my love for Him before you all.
Tim Rose is a missionary with the Reformed Church of France, working primarily with African refugees in the resettlement process.