Christian recording artist Lauren Daigle visited the Statesville Correctional Prison in Crest Hill, Illinois on Friday. In a Facebook post on Saturday, the two-time Grammy nominee wrote that it was a day beyond what she could articulate.
"Yesterday was one so unexpected. It was a day that was more than I can articulate. It was a day my eyes had never seen and will never be able to unsee. We sang songs with inmates whose voices carried deeper into our hearts than the echo of a microphone will ever release. I saw hope in the face of the hopeless, joy in the wake of sorrow, wealth in the gap of depravity, and life in the midst of death," Daigle wrote.
"These people have stories, and they also have souls. I watched heaven befriend those who are often forgotten. With each day that passes, may I never take for granted what it is to walk around as a free man. I held a bottle of cold coffee upon pulling out of Statesville Correctional Prison. My hand had never remembered that bottle being so cold," the singer continued.
Daigle also posted a short video featuring highlights of her visit to the prison.
One user named David Gomez responded: "Lauren, Having you come to Stateville and sharing your gift with the offenders & staff was an amazing experience! We thank you for your time and the love that you shared. You brought hope to so many and shined a great light in a dark place! You and your crew are truly beautiful souls. Thank you for your visit and please come back if you can. Prayers for you and yours always."
Lori Lillard Runions, another user, wrote: "I am blessed to be a part of a jail ministry. Too often we are judgmental of those incarcerated. Jesus died for them as much as he died for me. Thank you for being such an encouragement in your words, your songs, your actions. God has blessed you tremendously and is working through you."
And Todd Helm wrote: "For such a short clip, the volumes spoken are indescribable. Thank you, Lauren, for blessing us with your beautiful voice, spirit, and gospel from our holy father God."
Stateville Correctional Center is a maximum security state prison for men and currently houses 3,500 inmates. It's part of the Illinois Department of Corrections.