Good from Bad

by carlocmd

I brought home a gift from a patient. It was a wooden ship inside a bottle.

“This is cool, dad,” my 7 year-old said. “How did the ship get inside the bottle?”

“I think they built the ship first, then made the bottle over it,” explained my eldest boy.

“Hmmm,” I murmured, not entirely sure, but certain that the bottle could not have been made as described. “Let’s find out together!” I ventured.

So we went to a search engine and explored how ships inside bottles were made. We learned a few things that morning. Little did I know that more lessons would be taught in a few moments.

“It’s cool that someone could make a ship in a bottle, dad,” my 7 year-old said. “Did your patient make it himself?”

“No,” I explained. “My patient visits prisoners. He saw the ship in a bottle made by an inmate. He was amazed by it. He bought each creation to give to people, to show them that there is good that can come out of prisons.”

My son looked at me wide-eyed. “You mean, prisoners make these things? I thought bad people went to prison! How can a bad person make something like this?”

I looked at the confusion on his face and felt a need to pray for guidance.

“Remember the time when Jesus was asked what love means?” I began.

Two heads nodded. “Love one another!”

“What does it mean to love?” I explored.

“Doing acts of love!” they chorused.

“Did Jesus give examples?” I asked.

“Yes, when you’re kind to the poor, the sick, the lonely, and… oh… visiting those in prison,” they replied.

“Because when you visit the prisoners, you are actually visiting…” I began.

“Jesus!” they reply.

“And when you visit the poor, the sick, the lonely, the orphan, the widow, you are actually doing God’s work on earth. That is why we are here. That is why we must always choose to do good, even when we feel bad or scared or hurt. This is how the world will know that you are His disciples.”

With a twinkle in my eye (or was it a tear of joy?), I asked, “Do you still wonder how something so wonderful can come out of a prison?”