Sunday, March 15, 2020 -
Yesterday, Kathie and I were devastated that there would be no visitation for 30 days due to the coronavirus. I have not seen Kathie for two weeks (last weekend she was at my mom’s funeral), and that means it’ll be six weeks between visits. But I suppose I should be grateful, as some men never get visits. I pray things are settled down by April 13 so they won’t suspend visits further, and that shortly thereafter my sentence will be vacated.
I did have an interesting experience last night though. Actually two, all in the course of 30 minutes! I’ve begun to pray in the morning after neglecting to do so for a long time, for divine appointments. I usually go downstairs around 8:30 to send Kathie a goodnight email. At the top of the stairs, there was “W,” a man who had just been released from the SHU for being caught one night “high as a kite.” He did a two-month stint. He came to my cell not long afterward before the 9 pm count, telling me he had a revelation in the SHU that the solution to never coming back to prison when he is released is to never commit another crime. He then alluded to his belief that he could be perfect from this point forward. Now, keep in mind, this is a pretty rough looking character, although I know little about him other than that he’s a hopeless druggie.
I responded, “Well, nobody can be perfect, we are all inherently sinners.” He then said, “Well then, what’s the answer?” I said, “Jesus Christ.” He seemed to like that answer, saying he was a Christian because his mother was Greek Orthodox.
By this time it was almost 9 pm, which meant count. He asking something else and I merely said, “Look, it’s all in here,” and handed him my Bible sitting next to me. “But you have to come back and see me when we can sit down for a couple of hours and I can show you the answer.” He got very excited and asked as he rose to leave from his seat on my commode, “Well, do you think God told me this?” I said, “Well, I think yes, the Holy Spirit is speaking to you.” He shouted, “The Holy *expletive* Spirit!” I replied, “No, just the Holy Spirit,” trying not to express my alarm at the offensive outburst. He repeated what I said, and said, “I like you, you’re funny.”
He hasn’t been to see me yet today (it is only 4 pm), but I ran into him on the walkway outside the unit. He said, “You got me thinking last night, and I am on the way to the chapel,” holding up a Bible to show me. The service being held at that time was the Spanish/English service, which I have not attended but have heard good things about. I told him, “Well, you still need to come see me.”
The other incident happened last night as I was walking back to my cell after meeting to pray at our nightly prayer circle. He said, “Mr. Philip, how are you?” I said, “I am fine, how are you?” He replied that he was good, and then asked if I prayed for him. I said, “No, but I will, how do you want me to pray for you?” He said, “Pray that I’ll get out of here soon.” I said I would, and I added him to my daily prayer list.