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Inmate’s Amazed Joy on Coming Home After Years in Prison

What's it like to walk free again after years behind bars? Lee Horton and his brother Dennis know the feeling. They were convicted of robbery and murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. They always maintained their innocence. Earlier this year, after being locked up for a quarter of a century, they were granted clemency and released.

Here's Lee Horton’s story:

I'm going to tell you honestly. The first thing that I was aware of when I walked out of the doors and sat in the car and realized that I wasn't handcuffed. And for all the time I've been in prison, every time I was transported anywhere, I always had handcuffs on. And that moment right there was … the most emotional moment that I had. Even when they told me that the governor had signed the papers … it didn't set in until I was in that car and I didn't have those handcuffs on.

And I don't think people understand that the punishment is being in prison. When you take away everything, everything becomes beautiful to you. ... When we got out … we went to the DMV to get our licenses back. My brother and I stood in line for two and a half hours. And we heard all the bad things about the DMV. We had the most beautiful time. And all the people were looking at us because we were smiling and we were laughing, and they couldn't understand why we were so happy. And it just was that - just being in that line was a beautiful thing.

I was in awe of everything around me. It's like my mind was just heightened to every small nuance. Just to be able to just look out of a window, just to walk down a street and just inhale the fresh air, just to see people interacting. ... It woke something up in me, something that I don't know if it died or if it went to sleep. I've been having epiphanies every single day since I've been released.

One of my morning rituals every morning is I send a message of ‘good morning, good morning, good morning, have a nice day’ to every one of my 42 contacts. And they're like, ‘how long can (he) keep doing this?’ But they don't understand that I was deprived. And now, it's like I have been released, and I've been reborn into a better day, into a new day. Like, the person I was no longer exists. I've stepped through the looking glass onto the other side, and everything is beautiful.

Possible Preaching Angle:

This enthusiastic testimony is an exact parallel to that of a person set free from a lifetime of captivity to Satan (2 Tim. 2:26). The experience of God’s glorious freedom and new life in Christ results in a joyful expression of gratitude and amazement (Acts 3:8).

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