It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was on the elevator at the Forsyth County Jail. We stopped on the fourth floor to pick up an officer and an inmate, Ron, who had finished his sentence and was headed to Final Release.
Ron looked at me and said, “Chaplain Wolfe, I’ve finished my time and I’m headed home. I don’t have any outstanding charges, I’m good to go. If you see the lady in the red sweater, be sure and let her know.”
I had no idea what he meant until I asked him what the story was.
A couple of months earlier he had participated in the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries program, “Hope on the Inside.” Volunteers had come into the jail and lead a study in each housing area based on the Max Lucado book, God Will Use This for Good. The volunteers and inmates shared the story from the book of Genesis about Joseph being put in prison by Photiphar and how God had taken a bad event and used it for something good.
Ron said, “Chaplain, I had just been locked up when I went to that program. My plan was to get someone to bond me out, then I was going to run. I wasn’t going to come back for court, I was just going to leave.”
“The lady in the red sweater led the group I was in and I got to thinking about it while she was talking about Joseph being in prison. After the group finished she talked to me and said that God can use my time here in the jail the same way that God used Joseph’s time. She said that God is working even when things aren’t going the way that we would want. I told her I would think about it, and I ended up staying. And now I’ve finished my time and am getting out, and I won’t be running from the law. Be sure and let the lady in the red sweater know.”
Volunteers and the programs that they make possible make a difference in the lives of the men and women that they minister to. It certainly made a difference to Ron.
Robert Wolfe, Chaplain