Thoughts on Music, Community, and Spirituality
15 March 2015

Sunday Psalms: The Cell

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Sunday Psalms: Fictional Narratives Inspired by The Psalms, Proverbs, & Other Biblical Works

On the date of my sentencing, there was no denying my guilt. I knew it, and the judge knew it. And although I was worthy of the punishment, I still fought to avoid incarceration. Who wouldn’t?

When I was arrested, I violently thrashed against the guards. Punching, kicking, shouting. Venom lurked in their hearts, and I could tell they took great pleasure in throwing me to the ground, beating me with their sticks, and chaining me to the wall.

For the first several days in my cell, I wailed like a helpless child. Through the bars, I cried out for mercy, only to find myself bitterly disappointed over and over again.

In time, I no longer called out. I grew to accept my existence. Day after day, year after year. The grief over my life sentence caused a numbing existence, and the stone walls of the prison became my familiar companions.

One winter morning, as I was struggling to remember what it was like to be free, I awoke to an unfamiliar sound. I opened my eyes to see a man with kind eyes singing to himself as he unlocked my cell. In one swift move, he swung open the door, entered, and bent down to release my chains.

Without a word, he helped me to stand on wobbly legs and gestured that I was free to go.

“What’s happened?” I asked, confused.
The man smiled and said, “I’ve followed your case for some time. Today, I negotiated an agreement. You’re free to go.”

“I’m guilty,” I informed him, and he nodded that he was aware of this.

“Yes, you are. But I’ve taken care of it. Go on.”

While being released was good news, I had to understand. “Why now? Why today, when I’ve been in here all this time?”

With a nudge, he guided me out of the cell and simply answered, “Until you’ve experienced captivity, you can’t appreciate real freedom.”


There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains,
Because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; they stumbled and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands apart. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has shattered gates of bronze
And cut bars of iron asunder. Psalm 107:10-16 (NASB)

-Read Previous Sunday Psalms: Season One Episodes

Written by Heidi Sadler, Inspired by Psalm 107. Copyright © 2015, 2016 by Heidi Sadler, All Rights Reserved.  “Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”


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1 Response

  1. Pingback : “Sunday Psalms” Episode 7 by Heidi Schwarz Sadler | Principles for Life Ministries

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