It was hard not to notice the man who couldn’t stop crying. Mostly he kept his head down, but every time he lifted it up, tears were streaming down his cheeks. That was March 7, and Prison Fellowship® volunteer Sandra Tarlen was leading a seminar on forgiveness for a group of prisoners at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Tucson.
The following day, a younger man was sitting next to the prisoner. This time, they were both crying and hugging each other. At the end of the seminar, the younger man, Timothy, stood up and choked out that he had forgiven his father that weekend. Then the father, Scott, stood up and confessed he had been a neglectful father and that he had finally received forgiveness from his son.
Sandra received the following written testimonies from the father-son pair at the end of the weekend.
Scott: “I am a 45-year-old man in an Arizona state prison … my son is also in the same prison with me and the message shared opened the door with me, not only to our Lord, but between my son and I, that we both might heal us and bring us together to the foot of the cross. Thanks for bringing the message of forgiveness to us!”
Timothy: “I am Timothy, 19-years-old at Tucson AZ prison with my father. We went to the Prison Fellowship seminar to help our relationship and it not only helped our relationship with each other, but with Jesus Christ. With this experience, I am able to forgive the things my father has done to me, and learned how the Lord will help us by using the steps that the Lord has given with this seminar. I will make it my goal in all areas of my life to forgive and forget.”