This art piece, based on the painting, “Forgiven,” by Thomas Blackshear II, has always got to me. The man has a large nail (more like a spike, really) in his left hand and a hammer in his right hand, and the nail-scarred hands of Christ can be seen. Translation: even though the man’s wrongdoings were what nailed Jesus to the cross, the Lord still forgave him.
"Prayin' for ya, kid." Those are the words with which James would end every phone call. James was a "resident" of a State Hospital where he resided since the 70s, when, in his early 20s, he committed a crime worthy of a life sentence in a hospital for the criminally insane. He never told me what he did to get there, and I never asked. All I can say I grew to love him like a brother, and was proud to call him “friend.”