Last night my husband and I had the pleasure of sitting with 550 other people at the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry Spring Banquet held at Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan. The guest speaker was Pastor Eric Earhart of Upper Room Assembly Church in Gatesville, NC.
Eric told the story of how he began using marijuana at age 12, and then, because his Dad was out of work, began stealing things like food for the family. His life quickly spun out of control through more serious stealing, vandalism, drinking, and finally, drug using and dealing. This went on and on, with numerous violent episodes involving other people, before he finally got caught in a drug deal and was sentenced to prison.
While out on bail and awaiting his sentence, Earhart had an opportunity to flee the country with his brother. But he didn't. Instead, one night, feeling total and complete despair, he dropped to his knees and cried out to God. He didn't ask God to let him off the hook, or to keep him from going to prison. He simply wanted God to turn his life around so that he could finally do something good in the world.