My Pre-Conversion Past Catches Up to Me in Philly

Our first year back in Philadelphia, the city of my birth, has been interesting in many ways – some unexpected. During the summer I applied to the Census Bureau for a temporary position for a little money on the side and to meet people in our community. I took and passed the test (really) but was requested to send in a copy of my fingerprints since the FBI had flagged me. Soon after I was notified that I was "deemed ineligible" for federal employment. Past arrests had caught up to me.


God forgives but the government keeps records and I understand that. Since any charges against me predated my conversion in December 1973 there is a process for clearing your record. I initiated that and think I'm good but won't be sure until someone else does a background check on me. It's funny that now my brother John and I are members of the Police Clergy, meet monthly with the captains of two police districts, and have opportunities to do ride-alongs with police officers. The joke is that now we get to ride up front. There is some truth to that! More about the Police Clergy another time.


What took God a moment to forgive when I called upon Christ is archived by the US government and might remain there until the new regime, the consummated kingdom of Christ. The archives are probably in one of those huge rooms like in Indiana Jones' film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. But that's okay. It reminds me of God's great salvation, what He did for me, that only He could do. I'm forgiven but the government hasn't forgotten and neither have I.

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