I walked away from prison on a sunny April morning. Sunshine beamed all the way home -- and there was sunshine in my heart.
I paid my debt to society. "For car theft and robbery three and a half to twenty years," the judge said. They shackled me with handcuffs and led me away.
I mopped floors, scrubbed latrines, scoured toilet stools, vigorously washed toilet walls top to bottom, cleaned and polished staircases over and over, sloshed through mud on the prison farm in springtime, sweated in the farm fields in the heat of summer, and froze in winter cutting down woods on prison property -- all the while doing hard time under the heavy weight of time's iron shoes.
Day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year, I trudged the same contour of existence.
Then the day finally arrived when payment was paid in full.
"Thompson, front and center," shouted the cellblock guard, and the cell door opened.
Moments later I was en route home.
Following is the rest of my story -- and perhaps yours in a sense.
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The author attended the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music, Grand Rapids Baptist Bible Institute, Detroit Bible Institute, earned a BS degree at Western Michigan University, pursued Graduate studies at Central Michigan University, ordained into the Christian ministry, served pastorates in the Midwest, and taught English in the secondary public school. He and his wife reside in their hometown of Saginaw, Michigan.