"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" -- Isaiah 1:18
I received a letter from a friend of mine who's in jail today. Like the last one he sent, it had "INMATE MAIL" stamped in big red letters, thrice across the front and once across the back. This is to cover themselves so that you know not to be shocked if you find something unexpected. It's nice, however, when I send him a letter, I can put my name on the return address and his directly above the street address of the jail; unlike the last place he was, the name of the jail and a prisoner ID# don't go on the outside. The only thing to give it away is that it's on "Justice St."
But I got that letter, and it broke my heart to see "INMATE MAIL" blasted across the front -- just one more thing to remind me of the condition he's in, as though I needed a reminder. I've heard people say things like, "Why do we test products on animals? Aren't there prisons full of convicted felons?" That may be true, but the people inside those jails are still people. Our founding fathers thought ahead and put the eighth amendment into the Bill of Rights, saying, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." That means I can't be put on a $200,000 bail for jaywalking, can't be subjected to tarring and feathering, etc. A prisoner, though he wears a number and bears a sentence, is still a person. And, thanks to our legal system, ultimately still has a chance to get out if he can reverse the decision that found him guilty.
And I know that my Heavenly Father sees through that too. He knows who this guy is underneath, and He still died for his salvation. No matter how much the wine of this world has stained his garments, they will be bleached out by the Blood of the Savior.