This is a sad story and a true one. But I also have to say it has its moments....God working, the incredible kindness of one human being to another, a small stirring of hope for faithful love amidst chaos....
I haven't posted about L for quite some time now. He had sort of dropped out of sight after he got out of CH for the second time last winter. He went to live with his mom in the town south of here after he had a falling out with the woman whose house he had been sharing here in town and he had not been keeping in touch. He'd not been in church either, all of which were not good signs. I'd run into him in town one day and he didn't look or sound good. He said he couldn't remember his mom's number, but I gave him mine and he promised to call me. He didn't. I heard through the grapevine (not always reliable) that he might have a girlfriend, he might be moving. I also heard he was not doing well and might be back into some old unhealthy behaviors.
Over the spring and summer I thought about him and prayed for him daily, as he is on my prayer list. But a couple weeks ago he started coming into my mind in an urgent sort of way. I started having the kind of feelings I had when I met him for the first time and God kept pushing me back to that darn jail with the sense that I just had to go see that kid whether I wanted to or not! Maybe it was because it was close to the anniversary of his baptism...I don't know. But I just could not lose the sense that I simply had to get in touch somehow. So I rooted around and found his mom's address in my planner and sent him a note....I let him know he was in my thoughts and prayers and that I missed him. I reminded him that his baptismal sponsor M lived just down the road a bit in his same little town....and I gave him M's cell number and told him I thought M would not mind if he called him....for a ride to church, to talk....or for whatever, because M had pledged to support him when he agreed to be his sponsor.
Well, turns out he did use that number to call M....in time of need. L was arrested last night and he asked his girlfriend D to call M and his wife and ask them to help her deal with it. They called me and the three of us were in court this morning for his intiial hearing. Seems that he forgot a very crucial thing he was supposed to do that could cost him another five years of his life in prison. A simple notification...I think a slip of mind for him, not a malicious act. He and D had moved three weeks ago into their own place and he failed to notify the people who were to be notified of such things. He does not process things well, or remember them. His next hearing is Tuesday. His bail is out of reach for his girlfriend, his church. So there he is again....in the same jail where we first met. I called his therapist. On Monday she will contact his public defender to see if there is anything by way of all the issues he deals with that qualify here to stop this. It should have the first time and did not. Perhaps we can keep this whole thing from getting even more absurd. People with problems that cause the kind of poor judgement he has need help or perhaps treatment, or even "keepers" of some sort to watch over them to protect them from themselves, for heaven knows they are their own worst enemies, but certainly not punishment in prison. And besides, it's a waste of a good jail cell to lock up this befuddled child that could be used for a real a criminal.
His family, shall we say, has some issues. They don't seem to like L's girlfriend. Perhaps because she is a positive influence on him. For whatever reason, they have taken a rather strong dislike to her, and they are the kind of folks you would rather not have disliking you...and they make that apparent. They scared her and she did not want to stay alone in the apartment. So this afternoon, M's wife R drove her three hours to her folks where she will stay till we know what is going to happen with L. R called me when she got home and told me that D wants me to let L know very clearly that she loves him and is not leaving him and will hang with him no matter what. Apparently D heard L's mama telling him something quite different as he was leaving court today, right before his brother offered to beat her up.
Sunday there will be a jail visit again. And yes, I will be telling L that D is safe and not deserting him. The harder thing will be to tell him I do not have bail and that it's unlikely that will be coming, but that we are going to do our best to see that justice is done...this time.
So once again....please, please, pray for my friend L?