Just as a cigarette is the delivery system for nicotine, the DHT book is a delivery system for the powerful, life-changing Word of God.
Many inmates and chaplains write or tell me in person, that they love the devotional book we distribute for free inside prisons around the world. We have given away over 325,000 copies in 37 countries and in 8 languages since the original edition of Doing HIS Time; Meditations and Prayers for Men and Women in Prison was published in 2008. The newly revised edition, completed in 2014 with Study Guides and added meditations is flying out of our warehouse and into prisons and jails.
This is flattering and humbling at the same time. It is flattering for obvious reasons, and humbling for more subtle ones. The subtle reasons have to do with why the book is popular. It is written using inmate slang, cultural references and situations, as if I were in the cell next to each person reading a copy. It relates to the inmate in a way that other devotionals do not, if the letters from readers are any indicator. Inmate letters and letters from Chaplains tell us that the devotional is powerful and that many lives are being positively moved by the contents. But read the quote below from C. S. Lewis that is included in the preface of every book we print to understand why this is happening:
“An author should never conceive himself (or herself) as bringing into existence beauty or wisdom which did not exist before, but simply and solely as trying to embody in terms of his (her) own art some reflection of eternal Beauty and Wisdom.”
The power of the DHT devotional is not in the style in which it was written. That was simply our attempt to embody our art form onto the message of grace. Inmates may pick up the book because it relates to their situation, but their lives are changed because the message of forgiveness and grace are true, authentic and resonate as such with the men and women inside the walls. We are humbled that God would choose a small prison ministry to assist Him in a small way to ring the Good News to those behind bars…