I’ve often thought I should visit women in jail and tell them about Jesus, but it never worked out. My excuses seemed legitimate. I had a young family to care for, we often moved for my husband’s career, and I was barely meeting deadlines on the four books the Lord led me to write.
One sunny afternoon the mailman left an interesting envelope in our mailbox. Its return address was a Florida jail.
I tore open the envelope. The writer, Brenda, had found one of my Christian novels on the jail’s book cart, and after reading it, she prayed to accept Jesus as her Savior. Her life had changed as she read and reread the pages about my heroine’s decision for the Lord.
“Thank you for writing the book,” Brenda wrote. “I feel my life changing for better every day.”
It ended with, “I wish I had a Bible.”
The day was so bright with sunshine, the letter lifted my spirits even higher. I owned a collection of Bibles and decided to send Brenda what I thought was the easiest one to understand. First, though, I reread the notes I’d written on the pages while I attended Bible studies. It was a joy to read them again.
Finally, I wrapped up the Bible, prayed for Brenda, and sent it. I knew that in most jails, the inmates are allowed to receive Bibles.
A month later, another letter from Brenda. She wrote, “Thank you for the Bible. I feel like you’re teaching me through your notes. I can’t believe how easy it is to understand the Bible since I gave my life to the Lord. I didn’t understand about Jesus when my parents took me to church.”
I was delighted, and told Brenda so in my next letter. Months later, she responded, “The pastor who comes here is taking me around to other jails so I can tell the women prisoners how the Lord changed my life. I tell about the joy and peace He gives me. I feel like my life is finally worthwhile.”
That was the last letter from Brenda. We were in the midst of moving and somehow lost each other’s addresses. I pray she holds on to Jesus.
I’m grateful to whoever placed my novel on that jail’s book cart. Through Brenda, God fulfilled my wish to visit prisoners and tell them about Jesus. (Christian novels are often best so the reader can identify with the characters.)
With so many Christian books available nowadays, I hope other Christian readers will donate appropriate books to jails and prisons. It’s an easy way to make a stand for the Lord.