For the last 20 years I have presented the Gospel to each new youth at the highly secure prison for the kids ages 13 to 19 at Gainesville, Texas. It is the first time that most any of them have stopped “running on the streets” and had the time to think about their life. Most every one made a decision to make God part of their life. After our hour+ together I would write each one a letter. As a result I corresponded more with many of them. And in each letter I would enclose a group of short stories or poems. They really liked them, especially those with an emotional message. You probably would not believe how many locked-up prison boys have loved theses little stories, and read them over and over.
In my soon to be published book I enclosed a long list of those short stories in the Appendix. Since the prison boys liked them so much, I thought you may like to see some of them. So, here is a 13th group of them for you. And you are welcome to share them with others.
An Eye Witness Account from New York City, on a cold day in December some years ago:
A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the sidewalk, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.
A lady approached the boy and said, “My, but you are in such deep thought staring in that window!”
“I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy’s reply.
The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel.
He quickly brought them to her.
She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel.
By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a nice pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, you will be more comfortable now”.
As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face……..with tears in his eyes, asked her .…..
“Are you God’s Wife?”
Heaven vs Hell
A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, ‘Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.’
The Lord led the holy man to two doors.
He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water.
The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
The Lord said, ‘You have seen Hell.’
They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.
The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, ‘I don’t understand.’
‘It is simple’, said the Lord. ‘It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.’
When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you.
A True Story of a High School Student:
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.
His name was Kyle.
It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.”
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.
His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.
My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.:
He looked at me and said, “Hey thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.
He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes.
We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.. When we were seniors we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.
He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd.
He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.
Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.
He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous! Today was one of those days.
I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!”
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. ” Thanks,” he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began: “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends…I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.”
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.
He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.”
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse.
God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way.
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