And no creature is hidden from His sight,
but all are naked and exposed to the eyes
of Him to whom we must give account.
God doesn't live in prison, the bottomless pity of inhumanity, encased in the never ending perimeter fence-line of barbed wire patrolled by roving armed guards. God can't reach me. The evidence of God's absence is reflected in the deep stress-lined old faces of sad young men, who accept gloomy hopelessness as their only future. God can't hear me. Young men, weary with the insurmountable knowledge of their eroding souls, in submissive resignation to the steel bars of a cage, the oppressive stench of fear-stained concrete walls, and the looming apprehensiveness of lethal gun towers. God can't see me.
Even if God could reach me, then He would NOT want me. As a convicted multiple murderer choosing a felony criminal lifetyle, I have violated every commandment, and am deserving of nothing short of death. Is eternal condemnation a consequence of a murder conviction or a life of crime? Too filthy to be saved, as I've committed a vast incalculable amount of unredeemable evil acts to qualify for any form of compassion. God doesn't want to claim me. How can I ask for deliverance when I've never shown mercy? I've sullenly accepted my sordid fate of a horrendous future filled with hollow loneliness and agonizing despair. The resulting predictable imagery of my future is an anonymous tightly stacked cemetery plot with a barely legible hint of a designated prison identification number. God doesn't know to me.
The burdensome weight of the consideration for becoming a Christian was totally unimaginable as my primary concern was my prison peer group, which translates into a comfortable camaraderie with successful criminal survival. The cesspool of humanity, overwrought with swirling prisoner self-aggrandizement, had great leverage with significant dire consequence on my day to day existence. As a prison lifer, heavily involved with internal prisoner politics while committing state and federal felonies in and from the penitentiary, I hated Christians, any church services, and any accompanying chapel programs. Prison Christians are self-righteous hypocritical cowards in possession of a cavalier condescending attitude toward non-Christians. The only true value system of survival that I knew was the prison criminal lifestyle, the esoteric "Convict Code", and I was good at it, extremely good at it. I would be quickly ostracized by my peer group of hardcore convicted felons for becoming a Christian, or for frequenting the diabolical prison chapel. The prison chapel was a sanctuary for snitches, child molestors and homosexuals. I definitely didn't want my peer group to classify me in the sublevel category of the lowest point of the prison hierarchy with rapists, rats and baby killers. It was ludicrous for me to employ the complex analysis required to arrive at the conclusion to transition into becoming a Christian. This far right spectrum of thought bordered on prison suicide. Nonetheless, in exercising due diligence of all options to stimulate growth in my relationship with Michiko, becoming a Christian warranted a thorough examination before being completely dismissed. Bluntly, with my shallow selfish perspective as one of the most notorious Washington state prisoners, I didn't spend decades building a strong, respected and feared prison reputation to throw it away for a Bible, with a diametrically opposed value system.
The systemic problem of the criminal justice system is its self perpetuating need to increase crime and criminal behavior by each individual for survival, each infamous achievement is driven by pain, hatred and bitterness. The next criminal deed would then need to be immensely more invigoratingly aggressive to receive positive recognition by the criminal community, and be labelled as "legendary".
The rhetorical question I needed to ask myself was: "Am I willing to place myself in substantial peril by discarding my old criminal value system of survival, to employ a new Christian belief system which is suspiciously dubious to succeed, highly suspect in substance, and scientifically preposterous?"
I attempted to read the Scriptures, but my comprehension level of the confusing document, the Holy Bible, was minimal at best. The lack of basic comprehension was very disconcerting as I consider myself a relatively intelligent person with the ability to comprehend and apply complex theories. The Bible, though translated into plain English, did NOT make any sense to me, it had no genuine meaning, it bordered on gibberish. The Bible appeared to be an accumulation of a mixture of historical esoteric role players with a conglomeration of mystical tales revealing miraculous events with no relation to me, to my situation, or the current times. How can I believe in something which has no obvious foreseeable conducive application for immediate relief of my miserable hopeless and lonely state of affairs?
Did I need to fill out an application to become a Christian, or get permission from someone, or register with a church? Is there an interview process? If so, what type of questions will be asked of me? Maybe I don't even qualify for the application process. It is evident I don't qualify for salvation, redemption or sanctification. Which church service should I attend, which Bible should I read? I didn't know anyone who could answer these questions for me.
MICHIKO FIVE was the most difficult soul searching episode.
Grace, mercy and peace.