Sunday, March 10, 2013

Old Man Nick

I know most of what I've imagined about prison is exaggerated, sensationalized.

But I also know that some of it isn't. Some of it's the kind of real that finds me sitting earring-less across from my oldest "son", listening to things that make me want to press my cheek down against the cool plastic table in front of me and close my eyes for a while.

He's always trying to "phrase things delicately" even though I keep telling him I'm not the delicate kind. I can take it. Just tell me what you mean. Tell me what you're trying to say. Tell me the truth and I'll be fine.

I am. I'm fine. Even though some of the things he says confirm the fears that had me crying for days when they sent him down. This isn't kid stuff. It never was. But he is. He's a very tall child with a wounded heart and a soul that astounds me. He's strong and he's learned how to spit nails from the best, so of course they like him in there. He knows how they play and besides, what's not to like about him?

I have trouble separating the "ins" from "the outs". I need some guarantees from the kid in the jumpsuit. I need some guarantees from God.

He has one for me.

I ask him if anyone in there walks with God. "Just my bunkie. He's the only one I know. He's so cool, man. He's old. We talk about God all the time. We read the Bible together." 

Know what I said?

Hallellujah. 

I said it twice. And he laughed with his mouth wide open because that's just what he does.

God answered my prayer in Old Man Nick. (age 41, incidentally. *clears throat*)

So the thugs are present and accounted for. The gang-bangers do their fool work from the inside. Robert plays cards with some, leaves others alone. He eats with them, watches television with them, and I guess that's alright with me. It sounds like they're a hard lot to avoid.

It's okay, because what I prayed for was one man. I prayed for someone older and wiser. I prayed for a single soul who could in some small way shepherd our boy along during the 23.5 hours a day that we aren't talking to him on the phone.

God sent this person in the form of a criminal with a tattooed stomach who lives with Robert behind a locked door. He couldn't be any closer.

I've been praying lately for God to show me who He is and how He loves me.

This is who He is.

This is how He loves me.



60 comments:

  1. I love your Robert and am grateful for Nick already (did you read my latest about Sabo? I owe you an update) . . . praying for our boys and our hearts and thankful for a gracious God who loves us well! :-)

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  2. God is good. I will pray for Robert and Nick.

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    1. Girl, thank you SO much! He's studying for his GED right now...add that to the list! :)

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  3. I am absolutely head over heals in love with this Abba God that lavishes His love out on us in these simple reassurances that He IS God and He's got it, all of it, under control! No such thing as coincidence, All is orchestrated by a loving Father and it always amazes me. Giddy about what God is doing.

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  4. this is one of those "whoa" moments. I'm reminded of Sally Field's acceptance speach..."you like me, you really like me". How wonderful and complexly creative is God that he "kills two birds with one stone". He's watching over Robert and reassuring you of his love all at once!

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  5. i love it when you update us on Robert. Love that a prayer has been answered - thanks for sharing that! Continuing to pray for him and you!

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  6. I pray for him every day. I have sat in those seats in the prisons and felt so sad. I searched for God all around me. I hoped He was there with the prisoners. I hoped for change. I hope God will hold onto Robert in prison. Hold him close to His heart. I pray for change. I am so glad you go and listen. You go and love. You are a blessing.

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  7. My heart is so full tonight. And people say there are no more miracles.
    xo

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  8. Amazing. Hope your mother heart is resting a tiny bit more comfortably tonight due to God and Old Man Nick!

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  9. so awesome when God allows us to see prayers answered like that! LOVE IT when we are gifted glimpses of his almighty power & grace. Halleluiah indeed!

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  10. Jesus was so good at breaking down barriers, and thank God almighty He still is. This could be my favorite post of all time.

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  11. Celebrating with you...hoping with you...thanking Jesus with you...and praying with you! Adding Nick to the picture as i go before the thrown! Love you!

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  12. God is so good. oh, how He loves us...

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  13. Praise God for answered prayers.

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  14. Amen for old Man Nick (41) Lol as he is younger than I.If they all simply new the emptiness and whole in their hearts could simply be filled with the love of God and faith, our world wouldn't be so broken.They all are just broken and hurting! Bless them all~K.Marie

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  15. God is soo gracious!!!! So thankful to hear that He answered this prayer with a huge, resounding yes!!!

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  16. What a "Hallelujah" moment. I know the helpless feeling of visiting a "son" in jail (prison has to be so much worse). But I also know that there are good people that end up there and sometimes the Lord does a mighty work in hearts and lives, accomplishing things He couldn't do while they were on the outside, simply because they were too busy to listen.

    I have a friend (deceased now) who got caught up in major drug trafficking and ended up doing major time in prison. But thanks to a chaplain and a church group who ministered there regularly, the Lord changed Lloyd's life while he was in prison. He became a model prisoner and led many people to Christ.

    I will keep Robert and Nick in my prayers.

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  17. What a wonderful answer to prayer, Nick as Robert's mate in this situation. May they both grow in God's grace.

    FlowerLady

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  18. Love this. Love how God provides, cares, sustains wherever we go.

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  19. Long time reader, first time commenter. A sweet, tender, and bold love - God' for Robert and you, Yours for Robert and your neighborhood. Thankful for your willingness to share glimpses with your readers. I am stirred every time I read your words.

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  20. That just put a lump in my throat and hope in my heart.

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  21. Oh my word. God is good. Tears are a'flowin'. God hears us and answers our prayers. I am so thankful that Robert has you and your family, and that he has a Godly man in Nick. Wow.

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  22. What a precious reminder that HE never sleeps or slumbers! Behold what great love the Father has lavished.... 1 John 3:1

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  23. oh, thank you, Jesus!
    He is just so good to us.
    thankful for the peace He gave your mama heart.
    xoxo

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  24. What an answer to prayer! Praise God!

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  25. I am praying for the same thing for my son who is in a prison of his own making. Just one man. Thank you for the encouragement this morning.

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  26. That is Amazing!! But, Dude, that man IS Oold!! LOL. I hope you also know what a blessing your love and your consistency is to this young man. A beautiful web of people God has brought together to walk with Robert on his path.

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  27. Definitely Hallelujah!!!!! God is SO Good!!! For Real!

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  28. You constantly amaze and inspire me. Your last line:

    "I've been praying lately for God to show me who He is and how He loves me."

    Incredible. God bless.

    xo

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  29. This is amazing. God is so good!

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  30. When you write about this man/boy/child ... you go to places - deep places - inside of all of us, even if we have no common experience with yours or his. It's like you touch the deepest of desires, fears, heartache, longing, and hope ... all at once. I'll add your oldest to my prayer list ... and you too, Momma.

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  31. I bet nick is thanking god for sending him Robert too x

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  32. The love of God always astounds me. What a precious story. Thanks for sharing.

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  33. love this post. God is good!

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  34. Brought tears to my eyes. God is great!

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  35. Brought tears to my eyes. God is great!

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  36. Literally crying here. I love this post. Because this is the God we serve. He is SO good. Hallelujah!

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  37. I read every post, but I have never commented. But I had to comment because that image of how God has answered your prayer is such a picture of his goodness!!!! Rejoicing with you, and I don't even know you :)

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  38. My God.

    Old man Nick is the exact same age as me!!

    LOL.

    I feel relieved. I thought of you and of Robert the other day and wondered how your heart is taking it.

    For now, I will imagine Nick as a "young" Morgan Freeman.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    Xo

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  39. This is wonderful. I am so inspired by you, and so happy for all of you that God has answered that prayer. Shannan - please check your "other" folder on FB. I emailed you there. . . . Thx!

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  40. Old Saint Nick. I love it. 41?! haha! :) Sweet, sweet news. For Nick, too...what a blessing for him to be able to share his faith while he's there. It's the second half of how we overcome...by the word of our testimony! I'm agreeing with Robert for flying colors on his GED, too.

    Great big, heaped up Tuesday blessings, FPFG!!!

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  41. Your 2 last lines. 'Nuff said.

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  42. God bless your sweet mittened hands that reach out as God's own to your big son. God bless your tender heart as you pray giant prayers that are answered in the form of an old (41? For real?) man.

    PS: Like your new farm girl in the city look :)

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  43. i kept picturing old man nick as at least 63, but then you went and told us (in small print) that he is GULP...41.
    please tell robert that old man nick and I are young.

    we just never know what God will use to show us his love for us.
    so grateful in this moment that God is powerful enough to put us right where he needs us to be..with the people he needs us to be with...in the situation he needs us to be in so that we can see how long and wide and deep and high his love for us is.
    nothing separates us from him. nothing.
    praising Jesus for NICK today.

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  44. Crying, God is so good! I love the way he answered this prayer so perfectly! This is such a boost to my faith and I needed that today! Love you!

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  45. Crying, God is so good! I love the way he answered this prayer so perfectly! This is such a boost to my faith and I needed that today! Love you!

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  46. Smiling with your other readers who are post 41 at the "old" comment. I do know this though, Rough living ages you. I see it in faces around me all the time. Glad that though we are all outwardly wasting away, that dear brother Nick (as well as all who are "in Christ") is being renewed inwardly day by day. AND He is helping Robert to be renewed as well. Bless the LORD!

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  47. it is beautiful to read about how you choose to see your blessings! God's love is unbelievable.

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  48. I see it in encounters around me all enough time. Grateful that though we are all on the surface spending away, that special sibling Chip (as well as all who are "in Christ") is being restored inwardly day by day. AND He is assisting John to be restored as well. Bless the LORD!

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