Prisons are unkind places.
It matters not how the walls are built because those that rise from disappointment, dereliction, discomfort and discrimination stand as sure as those made from brick and mortar. These walls, no matter how they were constructed, cause us to doubt who we are and all that we have ever known.
John the Baptist was a man on a mission. He stood in the wilderness and in the water preparing the way for the One to come. When this One came and Heaven spoke, John’s job was done.
Endings are rarely easy, no matter how they appear.
Not long after, the pages turn and John is found sitting in a prison – isolated, dark and foreboding, I am sure. A place where time holds one hostage and thoughts fall incessant as tortured drops.
Maybe I should have done this or that instead?
Why am I here? What did I do wrong?
He is not doing it like I thought it would happen. Is He really the right one?
Prison walls hold tight their contents until they gnaw away even the most stalwart of heart. We may wonder why John so quickly doubted within the walls what he knew to be true in the water. But truth be told, we do the same.
Life encircles us in ways we never expected. As the calendar pages turn, we hide our hurts and disappointments with the intention to move past. But instead they burrow their way deep within the walls and there they find the perfect place to fester.
Infections like these weaken even the strong among us.
Yet John, in his wisdom, knew the question was worth the ask. The answer was the antidote to the ailment seeking to poison. Jesus didn’t avoid the question.
God never does.
We just far too often avoid ask
Further reading: Matthew 11:1-6