From Death Unto Life

by Chaplain Paul Beliasov

My name is Paul Beliasov and I am a chaplain at a prison in York. The grace of God is quite the thing. We share God’s grace with these inmates, and you wonder if they understand the seriousness of sin and the depth of grace that God is offering. One such inmate who has been here almost a year is Will (not real name). Will is in prison for an ugly crime, and he knows it. Is God’s grace for him? We would say yes, but still. When Will first came in he was despondent and did not want to see a chaplain. A few months later someone (another inmate) had challenged him with the gospel, and he did contact us. I have met with him off and on over the past six months as he tries to restart his life with God. Will still gets depressed and discouraged with himself, and he does not know if he can get true forgiveness from God. Yet, he does know he is forgiven in Him and other days he is confident in God. He wants God in His life and wants victory over himself and the stain of sin. He cries over his sin and then thinks about God. One day last month he handed me a poem he wrote. It is not perfect, but it shows understanding of God’s grace. It also makes me realize that I need to look at my sin just like Will looks at his and then see God’s grace as Will sees it. So, in closing I share Will’s poem with his permission. May we all be humbled by the grace of God in this season.

“From Death unto Life”

I was once asleep and internally dead
Due to the enemy, I had no place to rest my head.
He dangles sin and greed on a line in front of me,
Tries his best to ensnare me in vines of poison ivy.
The Lord allows me to turn away from he who lies.
No, I will not fall victim to Satan’s whims and cries.
As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
In my Lord I have the strength to endure every test.
By his unfathomable mercy, I have free will to choose my destiny.
In him lies the only true future I can see.
Once overwhelmed by the corruption of sin and hate,
Lord, how I thank you continually that it’s not too late.
Having been blind so long, I’ve taken for granted all you have blessed me with.
Despite my defiance, you gave me your breath as a gift.
Now Lord, because of your Holy Spirit, I now know what is at stake.
As you break, mold, and craft me, my true form will take.
I shall follow you to the end of earth and into the heavens above.
You sent unto me like Noah, that olive branch in the mouth of a white dove.
Day and night fighting for your glory in courage and mirth,
In you alone, Christ Jesus, is my spiritual rebirth.
Your death beautifully wraps me in your warm embrace,
So merciful you are, Lord, to let flow your heavenly grace,
Blessed am I just to have enjoyed but a small taste!
No, my Savior, your covenant of blood shall not be made waste!
Thy name shall be scorched upon my tongue for all eternity!
I ask, Lord, that you thrust your hands into the hole of my heart and turn the key!
Your will is the only will for me. Thank you, Lord, for giving me sight.
The light that is your all-encompassing love shines so bright!!!

Leave a Reply