On occasion the CO (correctional officer) who controls access to the build may be busy booking someone into jail. There are a lot of steps that have to be followed to the letter so the CO may choose to have people queue up at the entrance in order to ensure the safety and security of the booking process.
I waited alongside an exhausted package delivery driver who needed a signature, and the Catholic nun who does programming on a different unit on Monday nights, but also meets with the guys in Maximum security on Wednesday afternoons. Since we are in the season of Advent she has been using Advent scriptures from the Lectionary. We chatted for a bit about times of waiting even as we waited to get into the jail.
After we got into the waiting area we waited for count to clear. In many correctional facilities “count” occurs multiple times a day. The facility is temporarily locked down and all inmates must be accounted for.
When count cleared I went up to get my supplies. Before I could proceed I had to wait for a group of incoming men who had just been booked in.
I went to the unit. The COs let me know which group would be out tonight.
I went in and waved to one of the guys who was talking on the phone to his family. During this time each man is given a limited amount of time to make a phone call. As I’ve mentioned before, attending Bible study may mean giving up their phone call to their loved ones.
I set up the Bibles and devotionals. I waited to see who would come in for study.
And I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited…
After about 10 minutes I talked to one of the COs. This was the only group coming out tonight. Apparently there were no participants for Bible study. I figured I’d close up shop and check if anyone from the other two units wanted a visit.
As I was packing up “C” and “D” came in the room. They weren’t there for the study. They indicated they just wanted to pray with me. I’ve know them for a long time and I’ve seen how their faith has grown over time.
Men who understood waiting at a deeper level than I have ever known prayed for me.
I received their prayer.
I was blessed by their prayer.
There was blessing in the waiting.
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.