Chained and Imprisoned

There were four of them, clad in orange jump suits, hands and feet manacled together, shuffling into the courtroom.  All in their late teens, they looked down, avoiding eyes, exuding pain and shame more than anger or defiance.Ours was third in line.  He looked for us, then turned away.  My tears came—I couldn’t stop them.  That was my son—chained and imprisoned.He had just spent two nights in juvenile detention because of a poor choice—a choice that led to a dangerous situation for him and my husband.The police came, he ran, they caught him and took him off.  Hours later, in the middle of the night, he called, begging us to come rescue him.  But we couldn’t if we wanted to.  He had to stay until his hearing, in two days.At the hearing, a trial date was set, and he was released to us.There is more to the story of course.  But the hardest part for me was seeing him chained and bound.  He was afraid, remorseful, even repentant.And overjoyed when he was set free.My mind quickly jumped to Isaiah 61:1, prophetic words with which Jesus announced His ministry:  “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners….”My son was a prisoner, bound in real chains, but also in real sin.I too was a prisoner, bound by chains of sin, captive to darkness, shuffling along in fear and shame.Jesus has set me free, broken my chains, clothed me in His righteousness, transferred me to His Kingdom of light and set me on a path of purpose and peace.Sometimes, though, I make choices that capture my mind and my heart again, that lead to more chains.  But I don’t have to live in that prison.By His grace I can continue to live in freedom.What about you: Have you been set free?  Are there choices that threaten to bring back the darkness? Are you walking in freedom?C2012 Judy Douglass