From Crime To Christ: Could I Have Saved Me?

Author: John Paladino

As soon as the door shut hard behind us, I felt different inside. No longer an 18-year-old kid with twenty scholarship offers to play football, no longer a son, a boyfriend. No longer anything but what I'd be known as from here on out, which was number 98463. This was the first of four prison sentences that I would serve.

Jail had taught me nothing other than how to commit more crimes. All the years I've spent in prison were with the mindset that anyone who sought God was weak. I had reverence for religion, but not the people. I was a persecutor of Christians, Catholics, Muslims; of all who spoke of God, yet I called myself a spiritualist. I knew there was something out there, but whatever it was, it had no use for me and I had none for it.

I blamed God for my life of misery and pain. I always thought of the line from Milton's Paradise Lost as my motto, "I'd rather rule in hell than serve in heaven."

And that's what I did. Until one day, when I died.