The thing I've realized, which I chose to ignore before...is that we are ALL criminals in God's eyes. We've ALL sinned (Romans 3:23). To hate someone is to murder them (1 John 3:15). People in prison need Jesus just as much as people outside, if not more. Every human being on this planet has a soul, a soul that will spend an eternity in one of two places. An inmate's hope for a future on earth is pretty bleak (especially if they're serving a life sentence). For some of them, hope for an eternal life with Jesus is the only thing that will keep them going through the years of imprisonment.
I know God has a purpose for all the pain. I'm not certain what that purpose is, but maybe part of it is to minister to those who are going through something difficult. God's been making me more aware of those around me, of the sufferings of the world. He's softening my heart, and I will be a friend to someone who most people will despise. I will do my best to show Jesus' love to him. And maybe it won't change Tanner's life, but hopefully sometime, somewhere down the road it will make a difference to someone. I know, with all of my heart, that God will use these trials for His Glory.