the weblog of Alan Knox

stories: Helping someone turn himself in to jail

Posted by on Aug 19, 2009 in service, stories | Comments Off

This post is part of my “stories” series. In this series, I share stories of how people live their lives in response to the gospel and as a demonstration of God’s love in order to teach us and to provide an example to provoke us to love and good works. (See “stories: A New Series” for more information about this series.)

A reader named John sent me this story:

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I intern at a church here in Oregon and was recently sitting inside the church when a young man came up to the door. He asked if we had a phone he could use and I pointed him towards it. The young man proceeded to make several calls to different people, telling them how he would not be seeing them for awhile, and asking them if they would take care of his things while he was gone, and if he could stay with them after awhile. Overhearing all of this I began to realize what the young man was going through. He had recently been kicked out of his house arrest from his mother’s house, and was on his way to turn himself at the county jail for a warrant he knew he had on him. He

I texted one of the pastors of the church who lived near by, and asked them to come over. I figured if this guy was going to turn himself in we might as well drive him over together, and truthfully I did not want to do this by myself. The pastor came to the church quickly and we talked to the young man. He was apprehensive about going to the jail because it was the weekend, which meant he would probably end up in the drunk-tank (a large collection room for people arrested over the weekend and waiting for the court to open on Monday). He talked to us about his situation, how he had been kicked out of his house arrest at home for getting drunk, had been living on the streets for several days at this point, and wanted to just get to the jail and relieve the stress he was in. We told him the smart thing to do was just get it over with before he is caught out on the street or gets into worse trouble. He was still apprehensive though, if he went in tonight he wouldn’t eat till the morning, and wouldn’t sleep at all.

Realizing he was hungry we offered to stop by any fast-food place of his choice on the way. This was the ticket. We all piled in my pastor friend’s car and were off for burgers, some sweet tea, and then the jail. The young man was less anxious as he ate, and was intaked finally at the jail for a warrant he had as a juvenile. The pastor friend and I have vowed to get reconnected with him, take a book or two to him (he learned to lvoe reading the last time he was in jail), and just try and be there for him as he gets out.

If you could ask your readers to be praying for the young man that would be great. His name is Josh and after he is released he will hopefully be going to live with his father in a different and better environment.

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If you would like for me to include your story in this series, please send me an email at aknox [at] sebts [dot] edu.