When I look at this picture, I not only see an inmate sweeping away the trash in front of his house (or cell), I also see an inmate praying with a volunteer, asking Jesus to sweep away his past. Many times when I talk with inmates, they tell me that they are trying to quit habits and clean up their act so they can come to Christ and be a good Christian.
So many people believe that being a Christian is about having it all together and living this perfect life, doing everything right. If that were the case, then no one would ever come to Christ because they could never be good enough. The Bible says in Isaiah 64:6 that our righteousness is as filthy rags. II Corinthians 5:21 says, He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus is after our heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, Guard your heart with all diligence, because out of it flow the issues of life. It’s all about the heart—not about things on the outside, but what’s on the inside. David said a lot about the heart. Read what he said in Psalm 139:23-24. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
You can sit in church or prison chapel looking perfect to someone who might be observing you, but your heart can be full of all kinds of crud. You could be sitting there judging someone right next to you or be looking at someone of the opposite sex in the wrong way. We must realize that even though we clean up on the outside and look really good to others, its what’s on the inside that matters to God. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have your appearance cleaned up, and we can do that on our own most of the time. The heart is another story. Only God can sweep it clean and keep it clean.
Now, take another good look at this picture. Tell me . . . what do you see?
I really appreciate your feedback. I would love hearing from you. Blessings to you all.
In HIS grip,
II Corinthians 5:17