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We were called to love one another to value others more than ourselves.

Michael, 40
Incarcerated: 4 years
Housed: San Quentin State Prison

It was another beautiful sunny day in Southern California that turned dark real quick. I am a father to three handsome boys Isaac, Ethan and Andrew. I am a happily married man of fifteen years to a beautiful woman named, Marissa. I was active in my church, our community and a manager at Costco. Unfortunately, I am also the reason for that dark day four years ago. My reckless actions and my selfish choice to disregard the lives of everyone else on the road that day, took the life of a fellow brother in Christ. Officer Steve was the victim of my conscious disregard for others. The impact of my decision to drink and drive created a ripple effect felt by his family, his friends, my family and those in our community. I pray daily that God’s saving grace, His manifested mercy and love has poured into the hearts of those victimized by my premeditated choice, to take my keys after four hours of drinking, and put them into the ignition. I know I don’t deserve God’s grace for the pain and suffering I caused. I do believe God’s grace changes people so we can do good works. Because of this unmerited gift do I have comfort, strength, love and support to get through each day. He alone can bring out prisoners, those who sit in darkness, and free us from the bondage of our sins. He gives me opportunities to exhibit grace daily, by educating many, that drinking and driving is not normal. It is like playing Russian Roulette, except your car is the gun, you are the bullet and everyone else is the target. The more you do it, someone will get hurt. Don’t let that be a choice you make or you too can take a life. I am writing to help raise awareness. I appreciate the many opportunities we have to speak on our crimes and our actions. I see the Humans of San Quentin as one of the platforms for the incarcerated to reach out to the free community. I knew little about the system and those incarcerated but it is good to bring an education to others. I hope the stories leave the readers feeling that we are people rehabilitating, maturing and gaining an understanding of the choices that put us in here. A humanness factor to the facade of a prisoner.

One Comment

  • kathleen says:

    Michael, I appreciate your love of and belief in God. You describeHis grace beautifully. Your writing is strong; I particularly like you metaphor about one’s car being ‘the gun’, the driver being ‘the bullet’ who puts others at risk. Thank you for sharing your insights.

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