A phrase often heard in movies or the show “Cops” is “jailhouse religion.”
Routinely, do we read the story of the twice-convicted armed burglar enjoying the tax-paid vacation of lockdown and suddenly, he attends a prison fellowship and accepts Jesus. Now, whether he (or she, actually) did it to either escape their soulish death row and believe this prayer will help chalk up brownie points with the Big Guy Upstairs, or life is genuinely that bad and Jesus is that real to him at this time.
Regardless, a life is changed. And the underlying prayer is now that this life change sticks.
These stories are numerous and the incarcerated are usually faceless – unless of course they happen to be famous and then it’s everywhere. Take once big time rapper and B-film actor, DMX and this apologue from MTV.
DMX, who has been resting under the balmy shadows of the desert sun in Arizona, pled guilty to felony charges of animal cruelty (Hello, Michael Vick), theft (like he needed to do that, other than just “keeping it real”) and drug possession (but hey, he didn’t inhale).
But now, jailhouse religion has bit him too causing him to “get it on the floor” – as in his knees.
DMX, for his part, said he’s completed the gospel album he told MTV News about last January. The rapper, who had a penchant for including moving prayers on each of his albums, said he’s spending more time with the Bible as he sits in 23-hour lockdown. His plan after his release is to move forward with his transition to becoming a pastor. X has long talked about becoming a prominent member of a church. The rapper believes he’s been put in his situation to help someone.
What? Pastor X? No, that’s too confusing with Malcolm and those who don’t know what an Imam is, nor the duty of a true minister. At first, he will preach about his testimony – it’s what they all do, but then what? Dogma, scripture, homiletics… ya know, truth.
So, X, when you do get out, make good on your promise to God and find people – not the fools you used to chill with, but some hungry people who are looking for something different out of Jesus. They’re out there. They want reality. They want transparency. And they want someone – like you – to keep it real, God’s way.
Yo, when you get out, do not search for a gospel CD deal but rather a pulpit in which to cling. Why? They’ll be watching because “We right here!”