Friday, January 12th,
rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
is for freedom that Christ set us free..." (Galatians 5:1 REB)
Pescara, Italy, last week, a 73-year old mother
was investigated for locking her mentally disturbed daughter hostage in a dark
upstairs bathroom for...am I reading this right...thirty years. Police found
52-year old Guiseppina curled up in a ball on the tile-floor of the bathroom.
Her only friends, a toilet, sink and washing machine. Her belongings, a camping
cot and plastic dog bowls from which she ate leftovers. Neighbors have seen the
mother hose down the daughter, on occasion, for a bath. Enough on that. I'm
losing my appetite. Can you conceive of someone locked in a 7' X 9' bathroom
for thirty years? The warden at the state pen wouldn't leave a man in solitary
that long. We may have some Viet Nam vets still prisoners of war, we can't know
for sure, but just the thought of incarceration or institutionalization makes
the heart sink.
The most common jail cell is spiritual. The
bars come in the form of habits, addictions and afflictions. There is a cot in
the corner called depression; another called fear. Some are trapped in a body
that hasn't worked for decades; note the auto wreck quadriplegic or the aged
invalid. Wires hung down from the ceiling in Guiseppina's "room", the bulb had
been removed. Darkness intensifies the bondage. Remember the dark room is where
"negatives" are developed. Who patrols the prison walls? Jesus said of the
cripple, "Should not this woman...whom Satan has bound, lo, these eighteen years,
be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?" (Luke 13:18) Jesus came to "proclaim
liberty to the captives" (Luke 4:18). He busted out of the dark room of the
grave and will do the same for all that call on Him in faith.
"He that commits sin is a slave of sin" (John
8:34). It is a struggle of wills, for "by whom a person is overcome, by him
also he is brought into bondage" (2 Peter 2:19).
There is a demonic thug behind alcohol, narcotics, gay barhopping,
prostitution, etc. that bullies and masters the human will. Paul wrote that
they are "taken captive by him at his will" (2 Timothy 2:26).
Leftovers are dumped in the dog dish, the light bulb is unscrewed and the door
locked. Then Satan spits out his victim when he's done with him - "a spirit
takes him...and it tears him that he foams again, and bruising him hardly departs
from him" (Luke 9:39). Yikes, that would make a hit horror flick, wouldn't it?
But such is the daily existence of tens of millions of people around this
globe. Is there any escape? AA has a twelve-step program. That's what I tried,
well, actually, about an eighteen-step program, from the chair where I was
sitting all the way down the aisle to the altar where I asked Jesus into my
heart. If you haven't tried those steps yet I would strongly recommend it. I
don't know how, I only know who, Jesus. He didn't just unlock the door, He
knocked it off the hinges! And He traded a dog dish for a golden chalice, a
bathroom cot for a king's throne, a five-by-seven for wide open territory. Free
at last! The greatest of all gifts. Ask Lincoln, ask Martin Luther King, ask
today's East Berliners, ask any slave of sin who has had his shackles snapped
by grace, ask Guiseppina...she can tell you the inside story. "If the Son
therefore, shall make you free you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).