A Child of the King

She was distraught over seeing her son in prison, until a kind word from a stranger eased her fears.


A sign listing visitor rules in a prison

”Lift your bra up,” the female prison guard ordered. Finally satisfied I wasn’t carrying contraband, she let me get dressed. My husband and I had come to a state penitentiary in Tennessee to visit our son, Jeffery, sentenced to seven years on drug and gun charges. I’d never felt so violated, humiliated—and resentful. I wasn’t the criminal.

Jeffery had been in trouble ever since elementary school. Even a residential intensive therapy program didn’t help. By the time he was 18, he’d spiraled into a dangerous life of crime. Until he was arrested during a drug deal.

When I saw Jeffery leave the courtroom handcuffed and shackled, I didn’t know who to be most angry with. My son? The judge? The guard?

In the cold, gray waiting room, a short little lady sidled up to me. “You’re new here, right?” I nodded, but I was in no mood to talk to anyone, including my own son.

“I can tell what you’re feeling,” she continued. “Whatever your child has done, he’s still a child of the King. God loves us through thick and thin.” She walked away. Her words, though, stayed with me. My son had made many mistakes, but if God could forgive—

Jeffery walked in. I rushed to hug him. He looked surprised, but hugged me back, tight. I felt his pain, and mine, melt away.

I visited my son in that prison many times before his release, but I never once saw that wise little lady again.

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