by Christopher Rogers
January 2010


My name is Christopher Rogers. I’m 26-years old. I’m serving a 23-year-to-life sentence, and this is my testimony.

At a young age, I began to construct my tough outer shell in an atmosphere of manipulating personalities that relied daily on their ability to create artificial emotions. I puzzled over life’s value, looking up to my teachers for sound life lessons. I discovered that I came from bacteria in the ocean through a process called evolution, and that mankind had enough fire-power to blow up the planet multiple times.

Before I go further, I want to clearly state that I offer circumstances so that the reader can understand me and how God’s glory was manifested in my life. I offer no excuses for the mistakes I committed, especially no excuses for the crime for which I’m currently imprisoned.

With greater intelligence comes greater sensitivity and unlike most of my school classmates, I was disturbed in my inner self, believing that I was an organic mishap that had one freak accident and life to live. One time I asked my teacher why I should keep up all of my good grades. She responded, “So you’ll get a good job.” I returned with, “So I can afford a house on the hill away from all the world’s problems?” She just looked at me and kept passing out that day’s pop quiz.

I dropped out of high school, mostly done with the 11th grade. If I came from bacteria as a complete accident and could die at any moment, then to me the world’s logic of saving for retirement was absolute foolishness. I was too upset about our environment’s condition, too disturbed about the nukes and man-versus-man attitude in society – from top to bottom – to see myself as a promising father. So, the idea that is widely sold in our secular society that reproduction is life’s purpose scarcely applied to me.

I grew up on the move from divorces and I needed an escape desperately. I found refuge in marijuana; it allowed me to see life however I pleased. And external stimuli couldn’t pop my bubble. This addiction led me into bad crowds and eventually into inner city moments that convinced me this planet’s clock is due. I created one last push to “Vanity” and it was my goal. I loved the earth but didn’t have the maturity emotionally to plant trees while knowing I was in a losing battle.

So, in my twisted mind, I bought a maroon Mercedes and drove endlessly, staring at people. My punishment to the “takers” of the world was to one-up them as a teen and smear it in their faces. I’m burning fuel all the while, but Mother Earth and I were a team. I worked 3rd shift at a wine distributor. Overnight I became an alcoholic and the girlfriend I had used for pleasurable escape, and frustration left. Quickly, it hit me how much I depended on that pin cushion to get by day to day.

With $3,500 to my name and the world I hated not ending soon enough, I hatched an exit strategy. I’d live off my savings and just party until it was gone; then I’d get a gun and no longer bother anyone.

Then, one night at a party, with my money almost gone and a handgun in my pocket –  financial and extreme emotional stress on top of my boiling frustration that alcohol couldn’t even suppress anymore – that night, too cowardly to kill myself, I killed an innocent young man with a small offense as my excuse to do so. In my insanity, this violent act would somehow cool my boiling frustration; instead, it felt as if I had died at the sound of the gun’s blast.

Once incarcerated, I naturally began trying to correct myself. I tried to figure out how my attitude toward life became so ravaging. But, the prison atmosphere is violently hostile and most men further their criminal behavior to bribe a secure space around themselves. I did not want to go further to the left; I wanted to right my wrong outlook. This led me to protective custody.

In protective custody, I found a calm space of time for the first time in my life and with a sober mind I began to wonder about a greater purpose. I tried to disprove God, yet in my journey to do so, I only found evidence in his very real existence. I was convicted of my sin, convicted of the gap between God and me, and I knew that Jesus Christ had died for my sins with the authority to do so as God in the flesh.

I became a saved man, walking in the spirit while in prison and because of Christ, I now associate steel prison barb with freedom. Every morsel of my spirit knows I have eternal life. Nothing is more liberating than victory over death through Jesus’ blood, the lamb set before the foundation of the world, the one who lived without blemish.