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The Worst Prison of All

October 17, 2012


While we are on the subject of prisons, there is a prison that is worse than Patmos, the worse prison of all, save for the eternal one.  The prisoners, like all prisoners, feel that they are there unfairly, that the sentence they have received is entirely too long. The warden is one of those self-righteous types who will not let you out. The guard in your cell block is continually undermining you and takes pleasure in your predicament.

The prison is made of material more difficult to get through than reinforced concrete, barbed wire, razor wire, gates of vanadium steel and reinforced gates and the parole committee has made it its life business to deny parole.    This prison makes no attempt to call itself a penitentiary. It discourages penitence. It is not a correctional facility. And everyone in it is kept in solitary confinement.

What is this prison called? The sign on the outside says “Unforgiveness Prison,” but to the hard timers it is called “Bitterness.”

If you are in this prison, you are not only the prisoner, but you are the warden, the guard, the parole committee, the walls, the bars, the razor wire, the impenetrable gates and you have no interest in letting yourself out. You become so used to being on the inside that you are afraid to come out and you feed on the satisfaction of your own self-righteousness and hate. And when you receive all the pain and hurt that comes from it, you complain that you are in there because of a bum rap. The sickness of confinement sets in and now only a Savior can set you free and make you whole.

“My heart is stirred whene’er I think of Jesus,

    That precious name that sets the captive free,

  The only name wherein I find redemption,

    No other name has meant so much to me.”

Oscar C. Eliason


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