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Why would anyone want to write an inmate?


Why would anyone want to write an inmate? If you are going to cater to inmates, what about the person and/or persons they commit the crime against? Why don't you cater to them? Don't they have feelings, too? Or is that too much to ask? I would love to hear your answer. I am the parent of a murdered child.


I just read your heart's cry, and I'm deeply moved over the loss of your child. It's no wonder you feel such pain! This pain and hurt you're experiencing, and perhaps even anger at God, is normal and may never go away completely. It is okay to be angry with God for a season and ask the whys. He is not mad at you for having such feelings.

You ask very legitimate questions: "Why would anyone want to write an inmate? If you're going to cater to inmates, what about the person and/or persons they committed the crime against? why don't you cater to them? Don't they have feelings too? Or is that too much to ask?"

To answer your first question, there are hundreds and thousands of people who write to inmates around the world. We simply have given some guidelines on what to do and what not to do when they write, so they will not be conned or manipulated by the inmates.

Most people write because they want to reach out in love - unconditional love. Some people feel it is the safest way to fulfill Christ's command as stated in Matthew 25:35-46. In verse 39, it says, "When saw we thee sick, or in prison and came unto thee?" Verse 40, "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me."

Marsha, you've got to realize that every one of these inmates is someone's son or daughter. Yes, some committed horrible crimes, and others are in there on drug charges, drunken driving, wife beating, husband abuse, sexual abuse, etc. I could go on and on. The number one crime they've all committed was their sin(s) against God.

The question we need to ask ourselves is, are these men and women, boys and girls, beyond the grace of God? The answer is no. The Bible plainly shows that at the cross, God laid upon Christ the guilt of the whole world (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I have to confess to you, that for a long time I had a pre-Christian philosophy about prisoners. I felt it served them right. You know, lock them up and throw away the key.

One thing I'd like to establish in your heart and mind is this: Apart from Jesus Christ, there's absolutely no rehabilitation whatsoever (Jeremiah 13:23).

There are many things I do not understand: Why millions of people suffer in the world, famine, earthquakes, wars, killings, and under our present liberal, immoral administration in the White House, our president by a stroke of a pen, has legalized partial birth abortion (murder, if you please). By it, he's responsible for the killing of millions.

I do not know the exact circumstance that took place in your life. No matter what I say, it will never ever bring your dear child back. But I know one thing: God understands your pain, your agony and your sleepless nights. He also says to you, Let me draw you close to my heart, for I know what you're going through.

He is extending his love and grace to you right now. What you do with it is up to you. You can accept his love or reject it. Because he does not force himself upon anyone.

No, we do not cater to anybody, whether in prison, or out of prison. We only like to be His Hand extended. And it is true, when a man or woman hits bottom - rock bottom - the only place he or she can look is up. That's where we step in.

You're asking me why don't we cater - I like to call it minister - to those who have been victimized by the criminal. It sounds very much like that's what I'm doing right now. Don't you agree? But I was not able to do that, until you were gracious enough to give me the opportunity via your e-mail and your very transparent questions.

The problem is, many times the victim goes into seclusion and even shuts themselves off from the rest of the world, including their own families, and no one has the right opportunity to reach out to them.

Do I know how you feel? Really feel? I believe nobody does but God himself. He wants to heal your broken heart. I have lost two close friends that were murdered. One was a classmate of mine at the Cleveland State University. It took three more killings before they caught the murderer, and I said, "Whoever he is, I don't want to see him," not realizing that four weeks later, he would be sitting stone cold in front of me in my chapel service at the county jail.

I gave him a Bible, and a week later I received a letter from him requesting to see me. To make a long story short, I did minister to him with the love of Christ. It was not in my own strength or ability. It was Christ living in me ministering to him.

We point our fingers at murderers, but we're killing by the millions and do not even blink an eye. We watch violence and murderers coming into our living rooms, via the tv entertainment industry. Then we wonder why we have become such a godless society.

My prayer is that God and his love will wrap his loving arms around you and comfort you, the way only He can comfort. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to minister to you, and hopefully help answer your questions.

Here to make a difference,
Chaplain Mario

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Updated November 16, 2010

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