this past weekend, i had the privilege of spending the weekend at the arkansas juvenile detention center in alexander. i participated as the “spiritual director” for a ministry event called kairos torch (a part of an ongoing ministry called kairos).
there’s a number of stories i could share of young men (ranging from 14 to 17) who have great hearts and shared things with me that i would never expect to hear from someone twice their age. it was a humbling experience and i was glad to be a part of it once again.
but…that’s for another post.
i had a great laugh while there that’s worth sharing (i even snuck my phone in so i could get a picture of it…). (hashtag: #BreakingTheLaw)
prior to the weekend, people from churches, other prisons, youth groups and various other collectives make encouraging/inspirational posters that are hung around the room inside the facility. the boys in attendance always feel special when they realize the number of people who have taken some time to make one of these posters.
quite a few of them are made by children’s ministry students at churches. as you might expect, the messages are pretty simple. while i didn’t get pictures of most of them, they had messages such as the following:
God loves you!
You are special!
Keep your head up and trust God.
We are praying for you.
You’re our friend!
The list could go on, but this gives an idea of the types of messages on the posters that hang around the room.
as i walked along viewing the posters—inspired by their genuine care—i found one that made me laugh out loud and, again, made me smuggle my cell phone in so i could get a picture.
while some kids were offering encouraging and hopeful messages, one little person decided to offer these incarcerated boys a dose of harsh reality (accompanied by a friendly whale…):