Sunday, February 24, 2008

Going to Jail

Going to jail should not be that attractive. The room smells of too many bodies and too much carbon dioxide. I lead music to the accompaniment of a boom box of Calvary Chapel songs that are not necessarily my style. The settings vary from small cells of a dozen guys to a large classroom holding 25+. It's at the end of a long Sunday and usually, while driving over, I wonder why in the world I'm doing this. It's not like I'm going to see these guys who are warehoused here in Santa Barbara from as far away as Los Angeles to Lompoc. They are not my "neighbors" and will probably not visit MCC. 
Tonight I was scammed. Two guys in the back of the room sat next to the thermometer, which they kept bumping up, getting the room hotter and hotter. I and my partner are the only ones standing, so we are getting the heat first. The young guys is laughing at his scam till he meets my eyes and he knows I know. While singing I wonder if I should call him out or leave him. Our topic is the lectionary text for today, John 4 and the woman at the well. I decided to leave it alone and see what happens. We finish singing and I begin telling the story of Jesus and the woman who tells her village to come "and meet a man who told me everything I've ever done."
The guys focussed in, related to the woman and her failures and her thirst. And I noticed the room was cooling off. On the way out of the room with the guard, the guy in the back shook my hand and said "Cool story."


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