I meet weekly with a young man in a Detention Center in Annapolis. He is charged as an adult with a serious crime but has expressed sincere remorse for his actions. I don’t mean “I’m sorry I got caught” but more like “I am sorry that I made so many poor choices that led up to my crime and I want to figure out how to change.”
He grew up in a Christian home and knows the Bible so we have been spending our time developing a re-entry plan together but also examining and dissecting the Book of Philippians. Seeing him weekly is a joy and an encouragement to me.
His biggest stumbling block when released will be staying away from his old friends who remain on the wrong track. We spent a good bit of time on Phil 3:18-19, “I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” He is working out in his head and his heart how he can love these friends but keep himself far from trouble.
Because of the seriousness of his charges and his mature attitude I often forget he is a 17 year old boy. Recently, I googled his name and found his Facebook page. It was filled with selfies in the mirror and childish comments. The picture included is not him but his page reminded me that he is indeed a young boy. His sentencing is in May, I am praying that the Judge will also recognize that he is a boy when handing down his sentence.