So today was my Birthday and it was the first time that I celebrated my birthday in prison. Today, during church, the whole congregation sang “Happy Birthday” to me. Throughout the week, I got cards from family and friends and “Happy Birthdays” from everyone around me. I even had a visit from my StepMom and my sister the day before my Birthday! Then tonight 3 of my closest friends surprised me with enchiladas and chips and a card signed by dozens of other inmates. Yes, this was all wonderful and made my birthday very special! But there was something even more wonderful than all the acknowledgements, food, cards, birthday wishes and so on.
As I was reading all the comments on the card that I received from my friends, it hit me. I realized that on that card were comments and signatures from sex offenders, drug dealers, rapists, murderers, gang bangers, muslims, christians, atheists, buddhists, homosexuals, black, white, mixed, hispanic, young, old, bald, crazy, and I could go on.
On this card, those things didn’t matter.
A person didn’t NOT sign the card because a homosexual signed it, or a gang banger, or for any other reason. I took this thought even further and realized as I looked around the Dayroom, that yea, this is what heaven is going to look like. I know it might be a crazy thought to some of you, but it is true. See, I believe that Heaven is going to be filled with everyone. For me or anyone else to believe that one or two or multiple “types” of people are going to be left out is absolutely absurd. God is not going to say to a serial killer who longs for God in the end, “No, you can’t come in.”
He is not going to exclude black people, asians, hispanics, from heaven. That isn’t even biblical to think that. Heaven is going to have murderers, doctors, teachers, sex offenders, rapists, muslims, homosexuals, blacks, whites, CEOs, politicians, Republicans, Democrats, drug dealers, and the list goes on.
The Bible says we will get a new heart, a new body, new spirit. There will be a new Heaven and a new Earth. No sin is greater than another sin.
We all fall short of the glory of God. I challenge you to seek God’s love and love God. It’s what He longs for. Also to love everyone. Don’t live your life in fear. Love the unlovely, love the murderer, love the drug dealer, the homeless, the sex offender.
I am not saying that you have to agree or like what they did or the habits they have. Just don’t let those things stop you from showing God’s love towards them. There is good in everyone. I see it everyday. The gang member who could easily kill you, gives you a hug. That happened to me today! One gave me a hug and said, “Happy Birthday, Eddie!”
All I can say is God has been at work in our relationship. God’s love is so powerful, it can move mountains! What I say to the refugee situation… Don’t put them in the “Other” category. Do anything you can to welcome them and love them. Do not fear.
I love you all!