“Today is Father's Day, an emotional day in a men's prison full of fathers and sons. The message (at church) today was, 'God is our Father and we are all His sons which makes us family'," writes Jonathan Mooring, an inmate in Plainview, Texas.
"But more compelling than the sermon, was seeing men of all races, places and walks of life – hardened criminals, repeat offenders, gang members, men covered in tattoos, hardened bodies, tough guys - all reaching out to comfort one another.
"We put our arms around each other and tears flowed like water as we prayed for children or fathers we've left to fend for themselves; that we had let down. We prayed for a change of heart and mind.
"As I looked around the room what I saw defied logic.
"I've been in prison eight times since I was 11 years old. I've been locked up or on the run so much and for so long that I have lost contact with everyone from the outside world.
"I am the father of four children who want nothing to do with me, a grandfather to a baby girl I have never seen and a son to a father who has long since disowned me.
"I haven't had a visit or a letter in over a year now, but God has again given me such a revelation of His love and power in this service that I want to kick myself for all I've done wrong in my life and for waiting so long to surrender myself to the Lord (Jesus).
"My walk with God started two and a half years ago in solitary confinement. It has had its ups and downs.
"I still have a long way to go in my walk with God. I still fight temptation daily. But I have grown so much since giving my life to the Lord," Jonathan declares.
If this Father's Day is hard for you, let Psalm 68:5-6 encourage you:
"A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
God sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity."•