Charles Livingston has felt the joy of freedom from prison for a year now.
In honor of the one year anniversary of his release, I’m reposting his amazing story.
Freedom Behind Bars: The Charles Livingston Story
What would you do if you’d been put in prison for 33 years for a crime you didn’t commit?
Charles Livingston knows. He lived that nightmare.
I had the pleasure of meeting Charles and writing his story for Reach Out, Columbia magazine.
Since the article came out in April 2015, God’s been moving through it in exciting and unusual ways.
I’m proud to share Charles, the article, and what God’s been doing through Charles below:
Click this link to read the story on Reach Out, Columbia magazine’s website:
Now I’ll share how God has been sending this article out and bringing people hope in unusual ways and places.
Hope Found On a Bus
One gentleman scooped the magazine up on a bus after a lady who’d been reading it left it on her seat.
He flipped through the pages and recognized Charles’ name and picture. He’d been in Kirkland Correctional with Charles.
After reading the article, he immediately called Charles from the listed contact information. He’d planned to wait until he got home to call, but he was too excited.
He told Charles how difficult life had been for him recently, but after reading what God had done in Charles, he had hope again. He knew God was taking care of him, too.
As he talked with Charles, he was literally in tears, overwhelmed by God’s goodness.
A Hard Heart Softened
One lady read the article with a heart full of skepticism.
Her neighbor had told her about the article, which brought back memories of the headlines and news reports of that horrifying case long ago.
She was not a fan of Charles Livingston, the man sent away 33 years ago.
As she read the article, her heart softened, and she asked her neighbor, “Do you think we can get Charles to come talk with the kids in our neighborhood?”
Vision Born Behind Bars
I sent the article to a friend of mine who’s in prison.
After she read it, she called and said, “Jean, I know God would use an innocent man, but do you think God would use someone who’s guilty, too?”
It broke my heart.
“Yes!” I said. “Absolutely! Remember King David!”
My friend didn’t commit as horrible of a crime as King David did, and the repentant David was called “a man after God’s own heart” because God is a God of overwhelming grace!
I could almost hear a smile spread across her face.
She couldn’t wait to begin asking God to do in and for her as He did for Charles.
She wants her time behind bars to count for God’s glory and bring hope to the many around her who’ve lost all hope.
It was such an honor and joy to write this article about what God has done in and through Charles. I can’t wait to see who God is going to touch next with his story.
I hope you’ll share this inspiring story with others.
And if you do share it and hear of something great God does through it, please come back here and leave a comment so we can all hear God’s continuing story.
Reach Out, Columbia magazine is a free magazine with a Christian worldview. Each issue is packed with stories of what God’s doing in others’ lives and helpful articles to encourage our own walk of faith.
The magazine is given away at various locations around the Columbia, SC area. If you would like to sponsor a distribution site or subscribe, please visit their website: Reach Out, Columbia.