Sensitively I write this blog…
The only thing separating me and the other guy were those locked iron bars!
He wanted to know if I would want to be his ……….in exchange for hard-to-come by-goods.I was terrified.
Thankfully in the courtyard of the prison cells a coloured guy noticed the terror in my eyes. He advised me, for a small price of course….ciggies, on what to say and what not to say. All I know was that if I was going to be anybodies prison property he was, by far, the least daunting of the lot.
Soon I was shuffled into a single cell…THANK GOD. This was my only proper prison experience….I didn’t know what to do; what to say; or even worse who to look at or not. One hears trifling stories of gang rapes etc.
Needing a ‘skaftin’ was the 2nd barter experience. I needed one for food and it cost me a few smokes. God in his mercy had placed me two doors away from a big shot in the police squad at the time. He had been bust dealing illegal ciggies.
He taught me the ‘who’s who’ and the ‘what’s what’. I also met another inmate who was jailed for drug trafficking.
Together those guys cared for me. I was beyond under-prepared for my 10 day stint in jail.
Having random guys threaten to rape me showing me their genitals made shower time terrifying. I JUST DIDN’T KNOW WHEN MY WORST FEARS WOULD BE REALISED.
One day we had to polish the floors and clean our rooms. I was so eager to not fail and be punished that I over did it. The thick layer of polish took forever to dry. Shining it was a nightmare. Hours upon hours to get the dull government issue polish to shine was labour intensive and exhausting. Eventually I got it done much to the amusement of the other inmates. I avoided humiliation and whatever other forms of correction prisons issue.
Renown Church proved incredible bringing me much needed council, prayer and bits of permitted food.
Upon release I had an awesome experience. An ANC stalwart faction had been arrested in an attempt to upset the parties stronghold; divided by disgruntled members who saw past the self-serving leadership. I was set in the middle of this pact as they sang a traditional song about freedom. I felt moved by the power of the raw emotion these army guys displayed.
Walking out of that jail was the quiet before the storm.
As the court case rolled on and the financial cost rose I became more and more despondent at why I was going through something I knew I was innocent of.
One night….as GOD does….I was awoken in the early hours of the morning while the Senior Pastor and his family sleep.
God gave me Isaiah 58 vs 5-15 as a promise to the tear-stained prayers of anguish I cried myself to sleep every night.
Eventually as I did my best to go through this struggle the promise came true. The case was taken off the role ( I think that is the legal jargon)…without me having to say anything to defend myself. Even though the accuser still believes I am guilty as nothing was truly resolved…I know that GOD in his wisdom has let things be as they are.
Sometimes it is in the unresolved we find the strength to pick ourselves up and consciously draw even closer to Him.
As I look forward to another promise given to me yesterday I realise that a new chapter has begun.
EXPECTANT AND CURIOUS I WAIT FOR THINGS TO UNFOLD!