Monday, August 3, 2020 -
On Saturday night, during our meeting, one of the new brothers in the Lord came and told us the guard and another were going cell to cell searching for holes behind the mirrors in our rooms.
You see, we aren’t supposed to be meeting together for prayer and Bible study. It is against prison regulations. All religious meetings are to be conducted in the chapel. A chapel which has actually been closed since March 1. And even if it were open, a group isn’t permitted to just go in there and hold a Bible study. If they open it to one group, they have to open it to all, so only officially sanctioned meetings by the chaplain are approved.
However, since our lockdown began in early March, we’ve been blessed of the Lord with unit guards in the evenings that have “looked the other way” while we’ve met together.
One of the brothers, “K,” quickly announced that he was not going anywhere. If he got a “shot” for it, so be it. The rest of us concurred, and we continued with our study. But not long afterward, the unit guard opened the door of the cell where we were meeting and said, “Oops! Bible study,” and quickly closed the door and brushed the other official on before he could look into the cell, where ten men sat with their Bibles on their laps. Immediately, we bowed our heads and thanked God for His protection.
The next day, however, this same guard, when I picked up my supper said, “Zodhiates, I covered for you guys last night, you know.” I asked, “What do you mean?” completely forgetting about the prior evening. He said, “The other officer reminded me you’re not allowed to be doing Bible studies, but I told him that you could be in there getting high on K2, or I don’t see the harm in what you were doing.” I thanked him and told him how much we appreciated it. He added that we might want to consider breaking it up into two smaller groups, to which I replied that we’d been discussing that very thing. I did not tell him that the reason we’d discussed it is because some nights we’ve thirteen or fourteen men and just one more won’t fit! When I told the group the next night what transpired everyone merely just praised the Lord once again, and we had our meeting as usual. Tonight, we were 13 men once again about 13% of the unit. Praise the Lord!
There are varying degrees of shots, but we could all end up in the SHU. Shots can even mean you lose “good time” and halfway house or early release, so it can have very serious consequences. It could even mean going to the SHU – the prison within the prison. But nobody said the Christian life would be easy.
Jesus said, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). And so, let us not forsake “our own assembling together, as is the habit of some but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10/25).