"An Inside Perspective"

August 2005

My dear family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ! As you may guess, being in prison affords me an extraordinary amount of time for thought, meditation and reflection of the past. I thank the Lord, that by grace alone, my past does not determine my future, Wonderfully, as Christians, our future is assured by the past finished work of Christ upon the cross.

Often, and for various reasons, we as prisoners can be locked in our cells for hours or even days at a time. Most recently it was for about three weeks. As I lay on my bunk in my cell, I reflected back to my unsaved past. I thought about my family and all the things we used to do. The memories are sweet and I am grateful that I mostly remember the good times.

My father was a hard worker and he had pulled himself up by his own boot-straps. His father, my grandfather, had died when my Dad was very young. Dad worked all night in a hot and sweaty steel mill, all the while, putting himself through college during the day. I remember my Mother’s special loving care for us even as they struggled in very meager surroundings. Mom had a way about her and I never knew things were meager.

My sister and I were very young at the time but there is no doubt in my mind that my father’s driving motivation was that my sister and I could have a better life than he did. As I was working my way through grammar school, Dad was working his way out of college and into the engineering market. As I worked my way through intermediate school, Dad was working his way up the executive ladder. Finally, as I worked my way out of High School, Dad had worked his way up to Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of one of the largest corporations in New Jersey.

I know that Dad was driven by love for his family. His love was rich for his beautiful wife Nancy, my precious mother and for my two sisters and me. I cannot express to you how deeply I wish I would have honored my father and my family. In truth, I did just the opposite of what my father and mother had hoped I would do. I SHAMED THE NAME. Yes, it is the pain of a self inflicted wound that always runs the deepest.

It seems I was easily swept away by the drug culture of the late sixties. With much reflection, I have concluded that I had no concept of the things in life that really had true value.

Eventually, as the fruit of that lifestyle, by my horrible crime, I SHAMED THE NAME my father had worked so hard his whole life to establish. He was a highly respected executive, esteemed in our community and sought after by all for wisdom and advice. Not to mention being a loving husband and father. In one fell swoop, because of my selfish drunkenness, an innocent woman lost her life. In one fell swoop, because of my sin, my father lost his whole reputation and was forced to resign in insufferable shame. I smote and destroyed his kingdom that he had labored so tirelessly his whole life to establish for his family. I, the very one who was to inherit all, his very name sake, the only male heir---SHAMED THE NAME.

My family was forced, by the media and all the negative publicity surrounding my crime, to move out of state and live in infamy until this very day, all, because I SHAMED THE NAME. My father has since passed and I can only imagine the profoundness of the pain and the humility that I had caused him. When he died we were unreconciled. At times, it is almost unbearable for me to live with.

Yet, despite myself and because God our Father had a Son who did the right thing, I am now saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Now my desire, because of my hard lessons learned, is to honor my victim and my father’s memory by honoring God my Father with a life not to be ashamed of. I have taken the lessons of my past and applied them to my spiritual walk with the Lord. It is written, “Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourself, do what it [He] says.”

It is funny how the Lord teaches you what you have put others through. I have, by grace, many sons in the Lord. I have a particular son though, after my own heart, who has been SHAMING THE NAME. I see in him all that I was to my father. I see the pain I caused my Dad by all my lies and deceptions. Again, at times, it is almost unbearable to live with. The unbearability flows from the depth of the love I have for my son. I want to help, but nothing I do seems to make a difference.

I trust God that this relationship will end differently than did mine with my father. I trust our Heavenly Father to restore my son. He is faithful and He will do it. I thank God, my son’s future is assured by the finished work of the cross and that he knows I love him. Please, in all that we do, let us not...