“God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing.”Psalm 68:6a
When Jimmy first attended our weekly prison Bible study, he had a lot of self-pity and no self-confidence. Looking into his situation, we discovered that he also had no one to visit him. Most of his family lived out of state. Those nearby didn’t want anything to do with him because of the nature of his crime.
We concluded that if Jimmy had someone to visit him, he’d be greatly encouraged. Shortly thereafter, a married couple belonging to a church in the area offered to become mentors for him. Now they come once or twice each month and are growing in their friendship with him. It has become such a positive experience for Jimmy that he considers them part of his family. He is a changed person because of his friends who visit him and show love to him.
We’ve been adopted into the family of God so that we too can know the joy of belonging. When Christ came to visit our world—reaching down to us right where we are—we also became changed people. Our hearts are renewed and encouraged because Someone came and loved us.
The close bonds of friendship we have here on earth give us a glimpse of heaven and of Christ’s deep love for us.