Robert today. I talked to him twice.
The first time was a collect call, so I ran to the closet, shut the door, stuck my finger in my other ear, and closed my eyes. I didn't want to miss a thing. (Also, he's a mumbler.)
I had heard a rumor a few days back, one that changed the whole course of my night, one that made me cry my eyes out on the couch.
Now I know for myself that it's true.
He met Jesus in his jail cell. And it's all he can talk about. It's all that he wants.
I knew Jesus was there, in that steel-barred gutter. I begged Him to hunt Robert down. I pleaded around the clock for someone to put Jesus on and wear Him right in Robert's face - right where he couldn't miss Him.
I said I would keep hoping and I meant it. But I thought the fire might take years to ignite. I was never thinking in weeks.
Skeptics will say that everyone finds Jesus in jail, and man, I wish that were true. But what I do know is that I'm learning for the very first time what it's like to fight for a soul. I know that this boy is different.
So tonight his eyes were never clearer. His spark has never been sparkier. He smiled back at us, bright teeth and dark skin, still a goof-ball with a pic stuck in his hair.
But this time, there was more when he looked back. Maybe the jailhouse teleconferences feel extra safe, but he laid himself bare. He told the truth about some thing, truths a guy with a street name wouldn't typically mess around with.
He held up his Bible, said he's reading John. He'll put Calvin on their prayer list - he'll do it tonight. He wants to go to church with us - "I'll bet you never thought you'd hear those words from me!" He ran back to his cell and grabbed a book that he wants Cory and I to read. He's already on page 60 and did a mini reading with me on the line, busting out words like "Deuteronomy" and "sovereign" like they were baby food.
God wants this kid. And I can't say that I blame him.
So thank you for your prayers (and sorry for the whole Abraham/Robert confusion). :)
Please keep praying for our big kid.
(If you're dying to see Robert, watch this. But no laughing at my man voice.)