I was nervous and excited when we started our “training” early Wednesday morning. I tried imagining what it would be like performing in a jail. But my imagination was running with reruns of Law and Order and CSI. The first 10 minutes of jokes I told were shaky. Everyone laughed, which is a good thing when your a comedianl. The first lady I spoke with had found God in jail and was doing all she could to glorify God while she was in there. She taught bible studies and prayed with inmates. When I prayed with her, she stopped me and started praying for me! I never expected that.
After a typical jail lunch (yea, I mistook the pudding as salad dressing.) I had the honor of praying with a young woman who was angry at God for so many things. As she cried I prayed. I placed my hand on her shoulder and began praying. In the middle of my prayer I remembered the rule of no touching! So as my mouth prayed, my head was freaking out “I am touching her! They are so going to fire me!”
My last performance of the day was a men’s drug unit. 125 men brought chairs over and faced me. I tried to read the crowd like I have learned to do. Some seemed happy to hear a joke, some looked as though they were daring me to make them laugh, and honestly their were some that I really dont want to know what they were thinking. I told jokes for 30 minutes. It seemed to go well. When I finished 30 men circled me to hear the message. I read the first scripture, John 3:16. When I finished I asked what this verse meant to them. No one said anything. The silence seemed to last forever. I looked around and said “Alright somebody please talk to me” A few older men spoke up about the verse but were quickly quiet again. This went on with more verses and a few more men. After some questions, we prayed. Well, “If you would like to pray this prayer please repeat after me.” I lowered my head and started “Dear God” I could hear many voices praying. It took all I had not to start crying (I am such a girl) When I was done, I went around asking the guys if they made any faith decisions today. One accepted Christ for the first time and 15 rededicate their lives to the Lord.
I have prayed for the inmates everyday. I am honored to say I was there, and cannot wait to go back.
Find Michelle’s website at: http://www.michellemillerharrington.com