My cell mate is constantly telling me not do do anything that will upset the guards or prison authorities, or I will be sent from the more relaxed prison work camp to the dark hole of the DCU. This is where rule-breakers are kept. When you are confined in the DCU, the atmosphere is anything but relaxed. Inmates are kept locked in their cells for 23 hours a day. These inmates can not watch television. They do not have time to send emails or to use the phones at various times of the day.
In the work camp, we can read and send emails from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. And we can use the phones until at least 10:30 p.m. But you lose privileges when you are in the DCU. At the work camp we are allowed outside our dorm areas for 8 to 10 hours a day. In the DCU, you have one hour outside your cell each day.
My cell mate is looking after me. He knows that the detention rules are for rule-breakers. And he wants to make sure I am not doing anything that will offend the guards. But I have a hard time dealing with his warnings when the warnings have nothing to do with unruly behavior — when he tries to warn me not to do “anything,” good or bad, that will offend the higher-ups.
I turn to Psalms 27:1 for my strength. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Throughout the Bible we are urged not to fear but believe and trust in the Lord.
Fear is like bullying. It’s used by the strong against the weak tor control. Whether we deserve it or not. Whether we are doing evil things or not. I am so thankful that God has fortified my heart and spirit. There have been times when my life was put in danger, but I felt no fear.
The lack of fear is freedom. Fear is bondage. We are slaves to our fears. Whenever we are afraid of losing — money, power, social position, a job, our lives — we are a slave to it.
I trust in the Lord. And I know I will be just fine. I close with this verse from Psalm 56:11: “In God I trust without a fear; what can man do to me.”
Bernard Addison is serving 46 months for Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud. Questions or comments can be sent to:
Bernard Addison/ 44863-074/ FPC-Atlanta; Dorm D/ P.O. Box 150160/ Atlanta, GA 30315