Now it is an attraction for tourists, but admittedly some tourists find it appalling rather than appealing.
It's official Spanish name is the Isle of the Pelicans, but it is not known by that name. It is known as Alcatraz, one of the most escape proof prisons in the world.
During the 30 years it served as a federal prison—1933 to 1963, 26 prisoners attempted escape; only five were successful. Alcatraz had double lock doors, high walls, guards with machine guns, and a staff that would not be bribed.
The world’s worst prison is not Alcatraz or even Devil’s Island; these can only imprison the body. Sad, but true, we often imprison ourselves in the dungeon of hatred and unforgiveness.
In Matthew 18 Jesus tells a parable of a man who had been forgiven much, but refused to forgive someone who owed him a very limited amount. He wanted mercy for himself, but justice for others.
In fact the king, who had shown him mercy, stated, “You’re an evil man! When you begged for mercy, I said you did not have to pay back a cent. Don’t you think you should show pity to someone else, as I did to you?” Matthew 18:32-33 (CEV)
In the model prayer, Jesus taught us to petition God, “Forgive us for doing wrong, as we forgive others.” Matthew 6:12 (CEV) (Some translations use the word, “debts” or “trespasses.”)
Then Jesus adds this bit of insight, “If you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14, 15 (CEV)
Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.