The doorbell rings, no one at home but you.

Answering the door you see a “long-lost” foster child you haven’t heard from for a couple of years. However, you know why you haven’t heard from this child.

Three years earlier this same event happened, suddenly showing up after having been out of your home for a number of years. On this day he just stops to say “hi!” As you talk he is acting quite nervous and as if he is under duress. Your former Law Enforcement red flags go up, your Foster Parent experience screams, “lies!”, and the Spirit of God nudges and says, “He is in trouble.”  A quick phone call to the local police answers all three concerns. The dispatcher asks you to hold on, where are you, is he with you???

In short, the police want to send units over immediately to arrest this young man. Story goes that he escaped from the Fairhope jail that morning. I’m home, the kids are home. they know this teen, like him, and I don’t want to create a scene for any of these people. He has asked me to take him to Mobile to a friend’s house. So I say to him, “Come on, I’ll take you where you need to go.” A small precenct station is literally around the corner from my house.

As we drive I talk to him about what is the right thing for him and me to do in this situation. I drive up to the station, cars in the lot…..evidently no one is home. I have the F’hope police on the phone and then inform them I will be driving him home to see his mom before turning himself in shortly. They really do not like me transporting him, but they allow it. My phone is on speaker so the PD can hear our conversation, where we are going etc. I can see several un-marked cars stationed along the road as we travel. As we get near to his home they pull me over, he surrenders, and it is done. He goes to prison.

Real time – we get to talking. He asks, “want to see my car.” I walk out with him to a car he had before he “went away.” Again old instincts kick in, self-preservation, self-defense, and Law Enforcement training. “What is his state of mind”, “Is he seeking revenge”, “Is he armed?”

As we talk he shares about his girlfriend (same girl he had before prison), his 14 month-old son, and a new one on the way. He seems sincere enough, affable enough, and in good humor. Chit-chat goes well, though I am ever mindful of my surroundings.

We are standing outside the car, by the open driver’s door. He then reached into his back floor-board and pulls out a tackle box, setting it on his front seat. As he is beginning to open it, he asks,

“Want to see my gun?” It cost me $250.00 dollars.

Certainly adrenaline begins to pump, pupils likely dilate, and the body is preparing to respond.

A tattoo gun, with copper-handled skull!

As we finish our time, I mention I didn’t know if he would ever want to talk to me again after the event years earlier. He states that he has had a lot of time to think, and be in church. He reckons that event was one of the best things to happen to him because if he had been caught vs. turning himself in, his sentence would have been 15 years solid.

Now he is out, no outstanding anything, no parole or probation. A fresh start in life.

We all need a fresh start from our past.

I love this passage,

Psalm 103:12

New King James Version (NKJV)

12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

This is a great music video that compliments this above passage: