They are easy to identify. Men dressed in a white t-shirt and white pants. Some clutch a large manila envelope while others carry a small cardboard television box. I wonder what lies behind that paper barrier? What belongings do they return with after months or years in prison?
The train whistle blows announcing their first taste of freedom on a train bound for Chicago. Others join them as stops are made along the route at other Illinois towns. Some are solemn and thoughtful. Others laugh, smoke and some begin their independence day with a drink.
I guard my friend’s daughter as we travel through the train. What were they in for? One could be murderer, a thief or a pedophile. How fitting that they are dressed in white. I’m reminded of the song:
My preconceived notions of them evaporate as I think of Christ’s work on the cross. I too was once a prisoner bound in chains of sin. Then Christ came forgiving me of my sin and I was washed white as snow. Christ is their only hope for true freedom. Silently I lift up a prayer to God for them.