A friend of mine recently wrote this account of a disturbed prisoner and a Salvation Army officer. A striking story. Thought it was worth posting here.
The woman in the prison cell was like an animal, snarling and attacking anyone who came near her. The Salvation Army officer hesitated. Had she heard God right? Should she enter the cell when everyone told her it was madness? She went in and spoke lovingly to the woman – who growled and flew at her. Shaken, the evangelist escaped, but the next day tried again, then the next day – always with the same violent response.
After much prayer, the officer went again. She said nothing but left in the cell a single white rose, then left. Before long, she was called by the prison staff: could she come and visit the woman? The officer went and found her transformed, soft and tearful. The sight of the white rose, she said, had broken her apart. It faced her up with how evil she had become. Yet with it came a longing that God’s love might be able to make her clean and white on the inside. The officer realised that God’s guidance had been right; that she could indeed believe the best for anyone, because Jesus died for all. Right there in the cell, the prisoner was born again.