Hunting for Jesus

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I’m on a bus headed back from prison. I went because my incredibly talented and graceful friend Melissa Greene has told me for years that I need to come and see the incredible and life-changing work of Timothy’s Gift. And you guys, there really aren’t enough words but I’m going to try anyway…but hear me say this, you should go and see for yourself.

We went to four prisons in three days and met hundreds of men and women in the Florida Department of Corrections. We were there to lift heads and remind the inmates that they are loved and that they are of great worth. Messages that I know they don’t hear enough. Messages that I know that I don’t hear enough. There was singing and dancing {check out this Spotify playlist of the songs that Melissa, Melinda, and friends sang — not your typical chapel service}, laughter and tears, powerful words of grace and love and a time of communion. Forty of us, musicians and volunteers, crammed onto a bus, drove 10+ hours each way, ate a lot of fast food, sacrificed our oh-so-comfortable routines, and paid our own dues, all hoping for a glimpse of something…none of us quite sure what that something was.

I know now that something was Jesus.

I’ve spent a lifetime reading Matthew 25 as a list of good deeds I needed to diligently check off as a do gooder and justice seeker.

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.

It reads differently now. It reads as more than a checklist. It reads as the ultimate scavenger hunt. Each line drawing us closer and closer to Him. To His love. To His mercy. To His grace. To His faithfulness. To His goodness. To His creation. And to His people.

We don’t go to prison to witness brokenness. We go to prison to remember our brokenness.

We don’t go to prison to judge or to condemn. We go to prison to stand with them.

We don’t go to prison to love. We go to prison to find love.

Yesterday afternoon as we lined up for communion at the Marion Correctional Institute an older inmate named John approached me.  I nervously leaned in and to see what I could do for him. He caught me off guard as he said, “I need to tell you something. You have been blessed. I can see it in your eyes.” And as he circled back around post-communion, he leaned back in and said, “You have been blessed. That’s a word God gave me for you. For you.”

I heard it, John.

I heard it, Jesus.

And yes, I know.

And I am so very grateful.

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • rubey

    Thanks for writing and sharing this part! Come home quick, I want to hear more!! …and please keep writing, you have a talent in the way you say things.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thanks Rubey! Love you.

  • I was at the IF pre lab at Catalyst in October when I heard Melissa say about prison ministry, “I’m there to remind them of their worth.” It was powerful then as your post is powerful now. Thank you for this timely and beautiful reminder.

    • lindseyrnobles

      It’s an incredible ministry!

  • Rev Jon Simone

    I am so excited to see that Timothy’s Gift is following through and ministering to those in prison. This people group is often forgotten. I have devoted my life to answer the call to “Proclaim Freedom to the Captives” I am so happy to see people answer the command of our Lord to minister to these men and women.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Love that Jon!

  • Ashlee

    Love this Lindsey!!!

  • It’s the most authentic, sometimes heart wrenching, often hope filled, beautiful time of my week. Nothing brings me greater joy than to see a sweet sister receive pieces of hope and love found only through Christ as we sit across from one another. It’s raw and real. It is simple. Just love. Give hope. NOTHING can separate us from the One who created us. NOTHING. I’m so happy you were able to do this. Some of my dearest sisters in Christ leave our criminal justice complex and head to the women’s prison in Nashville. I miss them terribly. I pray for them often. I thank God hope continues for them through Timothy’s Gift. So thankful.

    • lindseyrnobles

      They went to a women’s prison in Nashville on Friday and were invited back to do more! Pretty incredible…doors swinging open!

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