June 8, 2018 – Friday
2 Samuel 17: 23 [NIV] When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order and then hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father’s tomb.
Matthew 12:34 [NIV] You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
A brother committed suicide. He waited for the weekend because fewer correctional officers were on duty. He waited until the brothers in cells around him were asleep. He waited just long enough before the 2 am pill call so a correctional officer would find his body before the rest of us awoke. He did not have enough room to hang with his feet off the floor. He must have tied the bed sheet to the bars and leaned forward so eventually he suffocated from his own pressure against his throat.
He was a member of our Life Row church, and he mentioned to several brothers he wanted to kill himself. Having been on death row for 23 years, he was tired and had lost hope. And no one helped him. We were caught up in ourselves. We did not listen. We chose not to speak from the heart. And we are all saddened and ashamed.
Scripture talks about suicide and lost hope. Yet Christ reminds you and me not to be caught up in ourselves. He reminds us, good must come from us – if we are not to be a brood of vipers. Jesus teaches, whatever comes out of our mouths reflects what is in our heart. And when nothing comes out of our mouths, that also reflects what is in our hearts.
Today at work, listen to the heart of those who come into your life. God sends so many people your way. Loved-ones and friends before and after work. Strangers along your way to and from work. People at lunchtime. Coworkers. Those you serve. Do you hear soul-drenching tiredness? Do you hear bone-deep lost hope? Do you hear the word “suicide” or wanting to “end it all?” Will you be so busy not to speak from the heart?
On this day, listen. See with spiritual eyes. And speak from the heart. Let only good come out of your mouth.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Keep me focused on what the heart of another says. Help me speak from the heart You placed in me. Let only good come out of my mouth. I want to help anyone overcome wrong thoughts. Amen.
Jimmy Davis, Jr.
Z-557 Unit N-10
Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA