- Faith & Family
In thanking God for choosing prison for me over death and destruction, I am further led by an unselfish spirit to extend my gratitude for delivering me to a place where in previous years it has been impossible to harm members of society. Many times before I have viewed myself as a victim of an unjust system, unfairly subjected to long-tern confinement and robbed of all my youthful years. In the past, I have seen myself as a prisoner who received more time than necessary, harshly punished not so much for being convicted of armed robbery but for forcing the state to foot the high expense of going to trial.
After receiving a 40-year sentence, my position has always been that it cannot possibly be considered impartial for a man to spend that amount of time in prison in light of the fact that at some earlier point in his case, the state and court both felt that allowing him to accept nine years of imprisonment in exchange for a guilty plea, would have been fair and just punishment.
When you are hard hit by inclement weather, knocking out that spiritual light within, it is possible for power to be restored and the illumination of the spirit to be restored. Chances are, you too have experienced periodic power outages to your spirit caused by unfavorable life situations. We’ve been hurt, experienced pain and our hearts have been shattered. We’ve suffered loss of loved ones and have wept through our hard times and misery. We’ve even felt that we were not spiritually equipped to light the candles of hope to help guide us through the dark moments. Fortunately, sometimes we receive warnings of approaching personal storms —the inevitability of the death of a close relative or the loss of employment — yet we still managed to lose our spiritual power. We were still sadly affected. But in times, the storms weakened, then finally disappeared, power was restored and normal life returned.
Humbled by time spent in the dark, we were able to smile again and get on our knees and bow our heads in prayer. Of course, we are only human and like utility companies, we will sometimes lose power. Thank God for blessing us with a power that is capable of making it possible for the spiritual part of man to return to power. But beware and keep watch — because as a hurricane can be located hundreds of miles away in the Caribbean, you can never really tell if the storm will begin to move your way.
By Arthur Lee Hall, Jr.