Nothing left to lose

As of late, I’ve been working on preparations for a tour in India with a band called The Gap Theory. I’m excited about that, but I was leafing through some blog entries from blue sky nine (the band I spent 4 years leading and touring with) and came across this article that I had written, but never clicked the ‘publish’ button.

So… here’s a previously unpublished story from the 2010 blue sky nine tour.

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– May, 2010

Recently, in addition to a bunch of colleges and other shows, blue sky nine played outreach concerts at 3 different prison facilities.

One was an outreach at a Level-5 security, ‘Supermax’ prison. At that event, we saw literally hundreds of guys make decisions to turn their lives around and follow Christ.

At another facility, we learned that mentioning that Adam (the band’s percussionist) is single is not such a good idea when you’re playing in a women’s prison.

Oops.

And at the third prison, we were asked to play some worship songs for anyone who chose to stay around after our ‘normal’ concert. About 30 guys stayed around for that, and it was, in a word, amazing. I have never seen people worship and celebrate their spiritual freedom with such abandon as these guys – and I have seen a lot.

It’s funny. Those guys, who have no ‘freedom’ and have had everything stripped away from them, were extremely honest, open and demonstrative in their worship. They had been given a legitimate, life-changing spiritual freedom through Christ, and it showed.

Maybe Janis Joplin was right – freedom really is just another word for “nothing left to lose”.

I realize there are easy criticisms to make regarding ‘jailhouse religion’, and all that. I’m pretty sure that God can sort out what is genuine and what is not. But those guys were experiencing a truer freedom than many people I’ve seen on the ‘outside’ in church.

On several occasions, we’ve heard prisoners tell us that they are truly grateful for being incarcerated, and it is the best thing that has ever happened to them. It made them come to their senses and realize where they were.

Spiritually speaking, I don’t think any of us ever get out of prison until we realize that’s where we are.