January 17, 2010
Sunday, 7:00 p.m.
Letter #118: The French Fries Miracle
Greetings! God is good: He meets all my needs, so I am without complaint. I don’t complain about the size of my cell (7’x6’)—designed and intended for only one person; I don’t complain about the weather, no matter if it’s cold or rainy; and I don’t complain about the food, which is a bit better than the food I was served at Salinas Valley. I realize that I am in prison, so naturally there will be a few occasions where I will need to eat what is known as “prison food.” Like three occasions every day.
However, every once in a while, the kitchen puts out something truly delicious, and when I arrived at Soledad, that item was wedge-cut battered French fries. When I first saw them, I thanked God so profusely for them that He must have wondered if I’d just rediscovered the whole “died on the cross for me” thing. It was a mind-blowing addition to the menu, truly!
At Salinas Valley, they’d served us diced potato pieces that had been dehydrated then reconstituted by sitting in pans of water and then put into warming ovens. They were usually partially raw and always tasted as good as they sound: horrible, though I never complained. After a few months of these awesome French fries a couple of times a week, I was still in praise mode to God for them.
Then, one day, they were gone. There, taking their place on my tray was a pile of those reconstituted diced potato pieces! My heart sank, knowing that I’d never see those delicious fries again. After all, prison food in the 1970s included steak, lasagna, and fried chicken. All long gone, due to budget cuts. (No more chocolate milk at breakfast either.)
The wedges were doomed to go, but I didn’t lose hope. I waited, silently resigning myself to the diced potatoes instead. A month went by. Diced.
I finally thought something crazy: I should pray about it! Since God is my Dad, and He loves me so much more than I can believe, I should ask Him to bring back my special food. So I did. I simply reminded Him how grateful I am for everything and how much I enjoyed those fries He allowed me to have. Could He please bring them back?
I left it in His hands, but a week later, the diced pieces showed up on my tray again, so I again talked to God about it. Somehow, I knew that the big lesson God was teaching me was about contentment. So I thanked Him again; He is good and knows best.
Michael and Katie came to visit me on Saturday, and I got an update on a Christian young lady I’ve been praying for since March 3, 2008, the day I began my daily prayer journal. I don’t even know all that is medically wrong with her … I just know she needs healing from major issues that leave her in constant pain. I’ve asked God for complete healing for her, and I know that my God is able. To restore to wholeness what He originally designed and made is a simple thing for my awesome God. Yet she still patiently endures the trial, looking unto Jesus. I will keep praying.
At breakfast this morning, you should have seen my face when I saw those special wedge-cut battered French fries on my tray! I told everyone within a table of me what my God had done for me. Several guys thanked me for asking God to switch out the potatoes for us. I told every one of the guys that my God loves to prove He is interested in the little details of my life, just so I’ll learn to give Him the big details.
I was so proud of my God for showing off like He did in the chow hall this morning. Even if I never get another wedge-cut fry while in prison, I don’t mind, because God received much glory from the ones I did receive!
At church, while praying for people we know who are ill, God brought to mind this sweet young lady, and I lifted my hands and gave her to God, believing for her healing. I didn’t feel anything: no revelation, no warmth or peace, nothing.
After the service, I came back to my cell and chatted with my cellie about my visit with my parents today and the church service immediately afterwards. He, as usual, went to bed at 5 p.m., and I sat on my bunk to pray. I could only think of this young lady, and God spoke to my heart so plainly: “Hey, Christopher? I’m the God of the French fries! Remember? And healing? Well it happens to be my specialty. I’ve got her in My Hands.”
I cried and cried, dried my eyes to walk to dinner, and then assumed I could tell my neighbors about it without crying.
In the chow hall.
“God, I believe! I leave ALL my cares in your hands! Do a mighty work!”
“Won’t your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him?”
—Jesus, in Matthew 7:11