Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A Christmas Gift
My nephew BJ (Benjamin James) is in prison. He took a dare and downloaded stuff from lime wire that was inappropriate and got caught doing this at work. California has very strict laws about this kind of stuff and the DA decided to make an example of him. He got five years.
I don't think Benjamin ever thought he would end up in prison. None of the family did. But it happened. Never having faced anything remotely like this it was difficult for the entire family including uncles and aunts and cousins. Everyone responded with positive actions, prayer, and letters.
James comes from a very artistic family and though he may have tried his hand at art before prison, he didn't fine tune the skill until now. Maybe it is because he has time and isn't wasting it in front of the computer. In any case, he isn't allowed to have anything much in prison. So he became creative and with minimal materials he made one of the most beautiful Christmas gifts I have ever seen. My mom, Gramma Anne, had sent a picture of her and Grandpa Paul at their 60th wedding anniversary party. He drew that picture and it looks just like them. Then he drew on the manila envelope with calligraphy the address and also drew a red ribbon with holly attached so it looks like wrapping. Then he mailed it to them with words written across the back, "Don't Open Until Christmas!" My parents were overwhelmed. This gift cost a few pennies but the amount of time invested in it was very much appreciated.
I have been writing to James and sending him some of my Bible journals. He uses them to have Bible Studies with other inmates and has been very grateful for the journals and letters. Sometimes I send him pictures. Being in prison has changed him dramatically. I think when he gets out he will definitly be a better person. I am continuing to pray for him and would be grateful if you would to. Thanks.