The gavel falls and the sound reverberates through the courtroom. Turning, I cringe to see condemnation on the faces of the gallery. I rise at the judge’s prompting and feel the shackles lock in place. As I am escorted away, my stomach clenches in fear and realize that I am now alone.

    James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

     The verdict is in, the sentence delivered.I climb in a black van and make my way to the prison. I am to spend my life behind those walls, surrounded by evil. I shiver at the thought.
Psalm 9:16-17 “The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God.”

    Amazing! I had a visitor today. He was a small man with scars and stripes lacing his body. We talked for hours. He told me about his Father and why he was visiting. He saw my interest in his injuries and explained that my sentence was paid in full. I protested but His words rang with love and truth. Asking if I believed Him, he waited for my answer. I looked away as I watched the shadows dance on the walls.

     As we walked back to my tiny cell, the evil surrounding us fled his presence. The door swung open and a hand descended on my shoulder. I looked up to meet his tender gaze.   “It’s your decision now. I’ll be waiting for you.”

 Romans 8:2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

      My new friend guided me into the sunlight the next morning. I looked down to see my dingy gray prison uniform was now shining white. Reaching up, my hair was long and clean. I breathed deep and felt my lungs fill with fresh air.
     He stared down at me and my heart stuttered. I knew he was leaving. I could see it in his eyes. We had become so close in our short time together.  He smiled when I asked for a phone number and shook his head. “Not needed, just whisper, I’m always listening.” At that point, He taught me how to pray. “Don’t worry, you are never alone.” After a hug, he loaded me in a cab then with a wave was gone.

Galatians 2:20-21 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."

      I awoke with a jerk. The recurrent dream had not visited me for awhile. I glanced at the clock on my nightstand. It read 3:00 A.M. The full moon filled the window, bathing the bed in light. I rose and walked over to peer outside, my heartbeat slowly returning to normal.

    “Guilty!” I could still hear the sound of the banging gavel echoing in my ears. The vision of Jesus loomed in my mind. The cold steel of the visitor's table chilled my hands and I clenched my fists. Taking a deep breath, I breathed through my nostrils as I tried to regain my sanity.

    Why am I having this dream again, Lord? “Guilt” has no power over me or does it? What are You trying to tell me?

Psalm 32:5 “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD." And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

       My mind drifts to the very beginning. I remember the condemning eyes of the gallery as the verdict is exclaimed across the courtroom. I was freed from my prison but what about those people? Did they forgive me as well? Not necessarily.

     In my dream, I have a second chance. Like my life today, all sin is wiped clean and I am a child of God. The guilt of sin is forgiven but in reality, I sin each day. Believe me, I am not proud to admit that but I am human.

The Lord works with me each day to reveal the areas of my life that are lacking, to build a stronger Christian. However, due to that sin, the consequences are sometimes unsavory. Anger, bitterness, and jealousy show their heads and after the battles are long over, guilt digs in deep.

When guilt finds a home, it has power. It has the power to destroy relationships, churches, families, and if it festers long enough, people. It can make a beautiful thing, ugly or a strong man, weak. Guilt can open doors to make you doubt everything you know to be true or believe everything you know to be false by the very strength of its will. Does it have any power in your life?

1 Cor 4:20 "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power."

     God is power. Only God can build relationships, families, and churches. He is the one who can make a sinful person beautiful and strong. He is the Truth and the Life.

So when faced with sins past, I tell myself and others, that I am forgiven and if others are unwilling to accept it, I remind them that through Him, all things are possible. 

    Guilty? Yes, I was but my sentence was served and my sins were washed away by a friend. His name, you ask? Jesus Christ. Do you know him?

In Christ,


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