Bible verse about forgiveness and love: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
Josh was just a toddler when his father went to prison. He was driving under the influence of alcohol and was involved in a terrible crash that killed someone. The prison sentence for his dad meant that Josh rarely saw his father. Even during the few occasions they were together, they felt like strangers.
Josh spent many years of his life being angry at his dad. But when he was in college Josh says, “I started reaching out to him. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for but, I knew I was really fed up with being angry.” He started to pray for forgiveness towards his dad who now deeply regrets his behavior that led to such tragic loss.
After a time of corresponding through letters and phone calls, Josh forgave his father. “I came to know my dad was due for parole in a few months, so I began pulling together resources. Josh was glad he could support his father during this process.
Then Josh helped his father adjust to life outside prison and even persuaded the supervisor of a local store to offer his dad a job. A few years later, his father passed away from liver problems.
But Josh never forgot the struggles of his family went through when they were dealing with his father being in and out of the prison system. Josh made it a point to reach out to and help other prisoners. “The older guys have a tough time readjusting to life outside. So, I am helping them re-enter society. I teach them things like how to operate a smartphone, surf the web, use self-checkouts, all the basic activities that most people don’t think about.”
Josh smiles, “It’s my mission ground. I get to be a light to these prisoners, a port welcoming them home. I think that’s pretty awesome.”
Dear God, Thank you for your forgiveness and unconditional love towards me. Help me to shine your light on those around me. I want to show your abundant love to those who feel worthless or forgotten by society.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.