From Paul Young
It is the middle of winter in northern Alberta, Canada. The temperature is well below zero, one of those days that is so cold your nose hairs feel like little sticks plugging up your nostrils and every exhalation of breath becomes its own fog bank. I was born not too far from this city, up in the northern prairies.
“At least it’s a dry cold,” someone offers, which is true, but not that comforting.
We enter the building and I unwrap the layers of protection, trading them for the warmth of this place of incarceration. We are visiting a women’s prison. The women who have asked me to come and speak said that dozens of copies of The Shack have been making the rounds and having an impact. The government has given these inmates a “time-out,” an invitation to think about their lives and choices, something that people outside these walls have little opportunity to do. These women are here today to spend an hour with me, by their own choosing. Their presence is a gift.
Those who have eyes to see will find much wonder beneath tough exteriors and callous hearts. Most of the women are here because of a relationship gone wrong, and their suffered betrayals and losses are visible in their bluster of defiance or barely concealed shame. I feel quite at home here, among the bruised and wounded. Continue here.