Jail-House Prophet

He was the one who prayed most sincerely for me at a time of great struggle and embarrassment. My wife, daughter, baby boy and I were about to leave Chatham, and I went to Ron for a talk and some encouragement and prayer. My law business had collapsed.

He had been a client of mine in the setting up of a facility for the St. Leonard's Society, giving support, shelter and life skills to recent parolees. I had also known him from a quaint Charismatic fellowship which we attended for a time.

Ron had a criminal record which prevented him from ever again crossing the U.S. Border. Biker. Drug importer. Scrapper. Jail-bird. It was hard for me to believe the reports looking at his clear blue eyes, neatly cropped beard and gentle handsome countenance. His wife and children rounded out a beautiful family. He was leaving factory work at that time for St. Leonard's.

I remember when I first heard him giving a message at another church. He had a burden. It was difficult and delicate. It concerned the story of Tamar, daughter-in-law to Judah, sadly widowed and put aside from the possibility of another willing husband and children for a time. Genesis 38 tells us that she was willing to play the harlot and seduce Judah into relations in order to conceive in that family line. Judah did not recognize the woman, but realized when the truth came out that he had been the greater wrongdoer.

Now what did this message, delivered with tears, mean to that fellowship? He likened that group unto Tamar. Some were offended. He intended only helpful correction. I have seen prophecy work most conspicuously in this fashion - admonition, God's viewpoint or encouragement. I am sceptical of most of the fore-telling messages which speak of prospects of the heart's desire like candy being dispensed (the new job, the soon- arriving boyfriend, the powerful ministry or financial blessing just around the corner.) Read the Elijah List on the web. It is full of such carnal stuff.

Ron, although younger than I, and having less formal education, proved himself to be miles farther down the path in spiritual power, sensitivity and balance. No inkling of pride. A loving prayer partner and a truly joyful participant in praise. He was a re-made and thankful man.

I learned later that God had taken him home with heart complications at an age which to me seemed far too young.


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