"An Inside Perspective"

December 2017

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever-precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Every gardener worthy of his salt has a mulch pile. It is no different for me in prison. I have reappropriated a section of ground right next to the storeroom and converted it into my own personal mulch pile.

A mulch pile is usually quite the mixture of anything and everything that was once living, but is now dead. I throw all things into it – dead plants of every sort and a few dead birds to boot! Over time, it becomes a pile of blessings.

A mulch pile contains nutrients of every sort, and through the process of decay, they are transformed into life-giving fertilizer that feeds everything it comes into contact with. As my brother, friend and co-worker, Jo-Jo, likes to say, “You just have to trust the process.”

There is indeed a lengthy process (a season or two) before the pile decomposes into a wonderful combination of said nutrients. You cannot rush it, and it should not be used before its time. You just have to “trust the process;” and when you do, all that comes in contact with the mulch will be blessed. You see, a mulch pile takes that which is dead and reconstitutes it into life-giving food that will feed a multitude of other plants. Nutrients abound and bring forth newness of life and health everywhere the mulch is placed, and that which was dead, now gives life.

Flowers receive a boost and are seen with a new glow after they are mulched. They put forth flowers in abundance, sporting brighter colors with deeper hues than ever before. Vegetables take on a new plumpness with an irresistible, desirous succulence not to be resisted.

It is written, “Then said he unto the dresser [keeper] of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it [mulch it]: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” (Luke 13:7-9)

In this little parable, the Lord is teaching us (as Jo-Jo rightly purports) to “trust the process” because mulch (coined as “dung” in the scripture) has a very unique value.

Beloved, for those who have eyes to see, prison is the Lord’s mulch pile. He takes those who were full of sin, dead, useless, rejected, and cast away and reuses them for His sovereign purpose. The Lord reappropriates men through the process of time, remaking sinners into saints, men of God, who are then able to feed others!

People, by sin, end up in prison. The Lord, though, raises them from the dead – yes, even from the very mulch pile of sin! He then leads them by His Spirit, and as they trust the process, He transforms them into fruitful lives that belie the very mulch pile from which they rose. They joy to testify forever of the goodness of God in the land of the living. There is no sweeter fragrance in the Kingdom of Heaven than the humility produced in the Heavenly mulch pile! Sinners receive Life and are now seen with a new glow. They bring forth new fruit sporting brighter colors and deeper hues of grace than ever before. The nutrients of Heaven, the very fruit of the Spirit proceeding from those who were once dead, now giving Life to all. Over time, they minister a pile of blessings!

The world does not see prisons as such. Once you are in prison, the world is done with you; and believe me, the prisoners know it. There is a massive wall between you and the world, and society could care less about those who are inside. But our God, who calls those things that are not as though they were, uses prisons for His own purpose. They are His own personal mulch pile producing men of God of a particularly unique caliber; men full of His Spirit; yes, Heavenly nutrients that the world knows not. They are not as those schooled in the hallowed halls of Christian academia, but broken men taught in the darkness of the prison grounds of which the world knows not. These storied men possess a humility, brokenness, even a submissiveness, which delights the Lord Himself. Those who were once dead, now give Life.

Have you ever wondered why God allows so many of His saints to end up in prison? Years and years at a time, seemingly serving no earthly purpose. From the world’s perspective, prison is a waste of time. Though unbeknownst to most, as these men “trust the process,” God produces a saint of the highest caliber – a saintly sort full of Heavenly fruit for the people of this world. This man of God cannot be produced by any other means, but only through the mulch pile of prison.

The Lord has a process that today’s church doesn’t understand. He is not producing fame through endless degrees. Such men become masters of theology, but often cannot master their own flesh. So, wherever “you” are, beloved, by faith. . .