John 8:36 is a verse that reminds me of Brenda.
I first met Brenda over 9 months ago while visiting the jail for adolescent girls here in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Brenda was a shy 17 year old girl, who usually stayed off by herself whenever we were there. But as time went on I could see her wanting to interact with the Bible group as she slowly edged her way closer so she could listen in on what the leader was talking about.
One day I remember in particular the topic was from John 8:36, “If the son has set you free you are free indeed.” Brenda listened and then asked the all-important question: “How can I possibly be free in here?” she asked the leader. The leader’s response to Brenda was, “You know you Jesus have Jesus in your heart when you have asked for forgiveness. Jesus has washed your sins away. He has healed your heart and placed joy in it. Even though you are not free to leave here at this time, you are liberated and free from the baggage you have been carrying. Free to live with joy, knowing the complete acceptance, love and forgiveness from God!
It was that moment I saw Brenda start to see what “true freedom” really is! A smile came on her face as she said, “Jesus loves me!” “Yes!” the leader said, “God will be with you no matter what you’ve been through and done. He loves you deeply and completely!
Gordon and I have developed a friendship with, and love for, Brenda. She has a heart for the Lord. Her smile beams as she speaks and her laugh is from her heart that is so full of joy. Not only does she sit in on Bible study now, she sometimes sings softly. She is learning what it means to truly “Live Free!”
I also enjoy receiving drawings that she creates in her quiet time. There is almost always a cross and very often a verse of Scripture, from her heart, that she incorporates into her artwork.