There Would Be Music

“We will do what is right!”

“What is right in my house is what I say is right!”

I have always loved Hallmark Hall of Fame movies. A particular favorite is “Sarah, Plain and Tall.” In this movie, Sarah, a mail-order bride from the coast of Maine travels to the Kansas prairie in answer to Jacob Witting’s advertisement for a wife.

Though Jacob and his two young children are still in various stages of mourning over the death of Jacob’s first wife, who died after the birth of their second child, Sarah manages to first challenge the little family, then win their trust and eventually their love.

Sarah’s greater insight into the emotional needs of the children prompts her to argue with Jacob on more than one occasion. Sarah discovers Jacob has packed away every beautiful household object that would remind the family of his deceased wife. Sarah takes them out again prompting the fiery “We will do what is right” exchange between her and Jacob.

Though I am inclined to support Sarah’s actions, Jacob also has a point: I too am of the belief that no one makes the rules in my house but me.

Knowing how wholeheartedly I embrace this philosophy, I was thinking today what a challenge it would be if I were the warden of the Colorado Supermax…

I can say without a doubt that the FBI agents who had offices in my prison would become my mortal enemies. I would see it as my life’s mission to undermine them whenever possible. I would take great pleasure in thwarting their instructions to show as little human kindness as possible to certain inmates.

Their presence in my prison would bring out the passive-aggressive side of me. I would relish finding creative ways to make it look like I and my prison staff were in full compliance with the SAMs.

I can see myself and my staff ostracizing the FBI agents. Conversation with them would be limited to business only. Open and deliberate unfriendliness toward them would be the rule. Firing prison guards who showed indifference and brutality toward inmates would be easy for me.

On my watch, The ADX would become the place where one hoped to end up. Staff would show kindness – random and not-so-random acts of it.

I know I would have the support of Almighty God and the help of His angelic army. Mentally ill inmates would be identified and treated.

And there would be music.

Hunger strikes would become a thing of the past. The inmates would know this: If you do right, the warden is your champion. If you lie, manipulate and take advantage, seeing their kindness as weakness, the warden will become your worst enemy.

Solitary confinement would truly be for the worst of the worst and it would be used as sparingly and briefly as possible. At last, I believe it would not be used at all: the program would prove that men are redeemable no matter what they have done.

There would be plenty of prayer going on, much of it asking God to persuade the FBI agents to get on board with my program or make them so uncomfortable they would put in for a transfer…

Skeptics say one person can’t make a difference. The system is too screwed up, too stacked against the inmates. The good people on staff who may want to make a difference are no match for the likes of the FBI and the Carmen Ortiz’s of this world.

I beg to differ for I hold these truths to be self-evident:

Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”

Daniel 4:35 “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: “What have you done?”

1 John 4:4 “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

And while I’m on the subject…

I would be willing to risk the hatred and judgment from the self-righteous in this world. Many from whom I would expect rejection are church-going, Bible-reading folk whose understanding is darkened by jealousy and pride.

In fact, I have already been the object of rejection and derision by a certain type of “believer.”

I often wonder how some will justify the words they have blogged and spoken about Dzhokhar while claiming to care for his soul once he has been exonerated and released. If it is up to me at that time, I will do all in my power to protect him from such Jezebels even as he begs me to follow his example and remember forgiveness and mercy.

When God brought Job to the end of his suffering He said this: Job 42: 7 – 8 “It came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. Now, therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”

I may not be the warden of a prison, but I will always be a voice crying in the wilderness. Maybe one day soon, a warden will emerge who will skillfully challenge the cruelty of the SAMs under the guidance of an Almighty God who sees all and controls all.

It seems appropriate to end with these scriptures today:

“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

Jesus Loves Me – Chris Tomlin

I was lost
I was in chains
The world had a hold of me
My heart was a stone
I was covered in shame when He came for me
I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence
I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His arms

Jesus, He loves me
He loves me
He is for me
Jesus, how can it be?
He loves me
He is for me

It was a fire deep in my soul
I’ll never be the same
I stepped out of the dark
And into the light when He called my name
I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence
I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His arms

Jesus, He loves me
He loves me
He is for me
Jesus, how can it be?
He loves me
He is for me

He holds the stars and
He holds my heart
With healing hands that bear the scars
The rugged cross where He died for me
My only hope
My everything

Jesus, He loves me
He loves me
Jesus, how can it be?
He loves me
He is for me

Published by: iwasleah10years

Winston Churchill said no crime is so great as daring to excel. I am ready to take that dare. An unexpected and somewhat unexplainable compassion for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has drawn me out of my comfort zone.


4 thoughts on “There Would Be Music”

  1. Lynn…this blog tugged at my heart strings. I loved it. Its amazing how only few out there think like you. The wardens go by the book and its sad considering they don’t have to. Its their choice… To make SAMS a little easier to have a little ‘music’ ….they choose not to. I wish one day an ADX warden will have a little compassion and make it easier for the ones locked up like animals in cages. Great writing Lynn..this one made me remember the cruelty that is going on in ADX…and all it can take is one warden to change it …but he’s not budging.😢

  2. Anything is possible, that’s for sure. Playing music would go such a long long way. It would be awesome for the inmates! However a lot would have to change first, like a shift in public opinion, and a shift in the thinking of the US gov. You are right though, current individuals who work there could make a big difference, and especially the warden. It seems that the current warden, John Oliver takes his orders from the FBI and has never tried to change that. He is complacent. When H unit inmates have complied and are ready to move to another program step, but FBI says no, he does nothing about it, says there is nothing he can do. I don’t believe that. The current step down program is nothing but a sham disappointing inmate after inmate after they have done everything right. I believe it would take one strong and compassionate woman, someone like you Lynn. Then humane and compassionate treatment would be the norm.
    Let’s pray for that. Great post!!

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