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Justice had finally caught up with me. At least that’s what everybody said. But justice is supposed to make everything right. Why did it still feel so messed up? I was in prison, but the young man was still dead. My choice to drive that night caused another person’s death. My sentence didn’t make it right for that family who lost their son. My cell mate is in prison, but it will take years for that restaurant to recover from its losses from that robbery. Things aren’t “made right” for them. Justice caught up with that rapist in Block A, but the women he attacked will suffer for years from the effects of that violence done to them. Things were not “made right” in their lives. We all deserve to be here, but justice wasn’t served; things aren’t “made right.” Our punishment does not make things right. Nothing we can do as criminals will ever make things right. So justice hasn’t caught up with us; only punishment has. Today, I went to chapel with the other inmates. Why not? Maybe it would help with the boredom. There were some young people here visiting. More do-gooders I thought. They’d never known despair or dysfunction or darkness. But when they started speaking, something changed. One had been in the MS13 gang. One used to be crippled by arthritis but spoke of a time when she’d received new joints. One had been in and out of juvie for armed robbery. What made them different? Then they began speaking of a man who volunteered to be punished for other people. It made me think of justice and how punishment doesn’t equal justice. At first, I thought the man was a fool for choosing to be punished for others. And the form of punishment the kids described was brutal!! Then the kids started talking about justice. How this one man, with this one act, made things right for everyone. All we have to do is to say that we are the ones wrong, and to say we want to be in the group who He took the punishment for. They said it was from love, but I wouldn’t know about that. I can’t recall ever seeing or feeling love. They prayed for many before they left. I didn’t raise my hand, but my cell mate did. For weeks now, he’s been different. I think it’s all an act, but how can someone keep up an act for that long? His joy is irritating. But I can’t stop thinking about what they said. It consumes my thoughts. Maybe I need to find justice. Maybe I need to meet this Jesus everyone’s been talking about.

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