Paint on the Wall

by James Dayton
January 2009


This afternoon I was blessed by a Christian brother. His name is Roland Miller. It always amazes me how God works through others to settle our minds and comfort us.

Today, I was extremely troubled. I’d become so tired of the attacks on Christians, so tired of the under-the-breath talk of how Christians are weak followers and fakes. I wanted to explode.

You see, when Christ saved me, he didn’t take away my ability to fight. He just took away my desire to. It’s hard sometimes when you see your adversary coming against you. Your first reaction is to maul him, or tell him, “You bring your God and I’ll bring mine, and we’ll go in this cell and see whose God wins.”

Well, brother Roland could see that I was troubled and came over to talk to me. He said, “Jimmy, paint on the wall.”  He said, “Look, this same paint has been on these walls the whole time we’ve been here. How often do we pay it any attention or even notice it?”

Roland said, “Jimmy, we need to get to a point in our Christian lives where those attacks become paint on the wall. They will always be there just like this paint, but how much attention we give it is what makes the difference."

See, brothers, Roland gave me some peace with those four words – paint on the wall. In a fleeting moment, I gave the enemy power over me; it’s when we feed into that negativity we start to lose sight of what’s important.

It’s a victory when others see the enemy come against you and you don’t react in a negative manner. They say, “Check out Jimmy and Roland. They could maul that guy, but instead they showed restraint and compassion.” That’s when they see Christ in us.

It’s in our actions that others see God’s work, and we must always be aware of how our actions affect others and how that effect can shine a good light or a bad light on Christians on the whole. We are all apart of the Body, and in being a part of that same Body (Christ), our actions will always affect the rest.

Roland knew something was wrong with me just by looking at me. See, we are in that Body together, and he could feel it. Amen.

Then I got a letter from RED! editor, Jeff Hillard, and in his letter he said, “Jimmy, be of below-the-surface faith at all times and say Jesus aloud in the moments you think the crap is welling up in you, and he will flush it out and get rid of it."

Brothers, trust in God’s will for you and trust in the Body because it will be there for you, even when you’re not asking it to be there! Remember that paint on the wall, and then say, Jesus.



My name is Jimmy D. I’m 44-years old and have spent years in prison: Chino, Folsom, San Quentin, Corcoran, Pelican Bay, Soledad . . .I’ve been a member of the Aryan Brotherhood since 1985 and spent over eight years in the hole. I’ve committed a number of stabbings and violence that most people wouldn’t understand. . .I tell you these things so you can understand how far from God I was. . .
Read complete essay by James Dayton

More Action Words by James Dayton—

A Wife's Prayer
Last night, after 8:00, I opened my Bible, got on my knees, and started to pray . . . Sept 2008

Pressing Forward
How many times have we made plans, put all our hope and belief in them, counted on a wonderful outcome, and knew God would make a way? . . .Sept 2008

Spiritual Water
Let me speak for a moment about water. . .Sept 2008

Common Ground
June 2008

Read feature story by James Dayton—

Three by Jimmy D. Jan 2009