Welcome Home Willis

Balloons were tied to chairs. Food was on the table. There was talk and laughter. We were there to celebrate. Willis had been released from prison and People of the Second Chance saw that as the perfect reason to throw what we like to call a “Prodigal Party’." A husband, father and friend had come home!

After eating and meeting each other, we gathered around Willis to listen to his story. Turning to God in prison radically rerouted his life.  Behind bars, he fought for true freedom with the only weapon he had- a pen. “Hemingway says, ‘to write is to rewrite.’  If it was good enough for him, I figured it was good enough for me,” shared Willis. “There was something in me that needed to be put on that paper."

Willis wrote several books in prison, all based off his own life experiences. The characters are people he loves and, through his gift, he is allowing God to rewrite for him a new story.

I don’t want my legacy to be that I went to prison.  I want it to be that I loved my family. I worked hard,” continued Willis.

We gifted Willis with something to remind him that we believe in him. Mike Foster, founder of POTSC, secured around Willis a necklace shaped like a key inscribed with the word ‘courage.'  He then called everyone together to pray.  We stretched out our hands.

A man spoke, “Whom God has set free is free indeed."

Willis is truly free.  He is now involved in his local church, reconnecting with his family and working a full time job.  His life is a reminder that we are all prodigals and God is waiting with open arms the moment we decide to come back to him.

Maybe that should be our New Years resolution. Let God rewrite for us a new story. 

kaley thompson