“All I Want to Do Is Hug My Mother Again”

Posted on by Reba Brookes

Jordan came to the detention facility not long ago on extremely serious charges.  On his second day Jordan attended a Bible Study I lead for the youth on his pod.  He barely participated until I asked a family related question. Immediately Jordan broke down crying. Through the tears he said, “All I want to do is hug my mother again. That’s all I need from God.”  Jordan truly believed he may not get out. Never again hugging his mother was the price he just couldn’t bear to pay. This level of attachment to their mother is not unusual for these boys.  What was unusual was the public and deeply emotional nature of Jordan’s “cry of the soul” – particularly in front of other young men he had just met.  In this population an expression of vulnerability like this is typically seen as a weakness to exploit for selfish reasons.  Jordan would be thought of as “soft “ and eventually victimized.

At the end of Bible Study I asked the youth to offer prayer requests so we could pray together.  Noah, a baby Christian, stood up and said, “I have something. I just want to pray that tomorrow at court Jordan will be able to see his mother and that God will let him hug her.”   Again, Jordan burst into tears, stood up and hugged Noah and said, “Bro if you ever need anything when we are out of here I got you.”  This was a deeply emotional and bonding moment between these two young men. 

This was a significant moment because you rarely get this level of public vulnerability and compassion between guys from different parts of town who don’t know each other. The “street” has hardened them, and to an alarming degree their love has grown cold.  Yet, in this moment, Noah’s heart reflected God’s love to Jordan. Jordan was in desperate need of that prayer. The fact that it came from a peer, and a stranger at that, made it very poignant and memorable.  Of course, God did answer Noah and Jordan’s prayer at court and in Jordan’s next family visitation. 

Just days later Jordan personally received Christ as his Lord and Savior with one of our volunteers.  He has been steadily devouring the Study Bible that this volunteer gave him.  Since then Jordan has become a spiritual leader with some of the other young men on his pod.  Just 2-3 weeks later, in another Bible Study, as I was sharing about Christ Jordan chimed in to explain what it means to be saved. 

Seeing Jordan’s transformation is amazing.  Seeing him impact the lives of those around him is affirming and deeply rewarding. God was very personal to Jordan in that Bible Study.  But, He was with Noah as well. Noah personally experienced the blessing of ministry and loving his neighbor.  And God was very personal to all of us, as we received the blessing of witnessing God use willing hearts -- regardless of outward appearance, level of sanctification or current legal or moral guilt -- as holy vessels of His grace. 

Satara Corley

JJM Chaplain

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