Why do People Need Hope – Kenneth Foster Jr.

Last week I received several of Kenneth Foster’s blogs and this one – Hope – is the last in the series – for now – until I’ll receive more. For those who stumble upon my blog and haven’t seen the previous articles, I’ll recap quickly who Kenneth is. In 1996 Kenneth and three friends were arrested for the murder of Michael laHood in Texas. Kenneth did not kill anyone, all he did was drive a car and he had no previous knowledge that a murder was going to take place.

Under the law of parties which sentences a man to death for being present at a murder even without committing the actual crime, Kenneth was sentenced to death row. In 2007, only hours away from execution, Kenneth’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

All he did was drive a car …

In the Netflix show I am a Killer, episode “Killer in the Eyes of the Law” you can learn more about his story.

So, without further ado, I’ll share here one more blog post by him. This was written in the year 2012.

May 28th, 2012 – by Kenneth Foster Jr.

Hope ?
Why do People Need Hope - Kenneth Foster Jr.

Today I saw a rainbow. I cannot remember ever seeing a rainbow during my time of incarceration, and really can’t remember where I was the last time I saw one. After a wild storm brewed for about 45 minutes, then all fell calm, this rainbow set in the sky.

I’d been looking out the window at the dark skies, falling rain, trees blowing so hard it looked like they were going to uproot. I laid down after a while, then when everything stopped I climbed back to the window to look around. That’s when I saw it – like an image out of a leprechaun story. High in the sky, all the colors present, flawlessly arched. That may have been the most perfect thing I’ve seen in the last 15 years.

I have to admit – it grasped me for a moment. I couldn’t help but to think of the covenant God made with Noah and how the rainbow would be a reminder of it. At that moment I wished for a similar covenant. I wished to have my prayers answered to give me that 2nd chance after my world had been destroyed. After all – the fire next time.

But, I’m not Noah. I’m unaware of how stretched my favor is. I’m a believer of some sorts and a non-believer in others. Sometimes – outside of being superstitious, suspicious and suspect all rolled up into one civilian – I’m not sure exactly what I am. I need a helper like Aaron.

I don’t have any apostles, though. However, I am an admirer of the miracles of the world and universe. I’m a fan of the things we get to witness. And while the more we think we’re Gods the more (at that thought) I laugh and find happiness in the simplicity of what we are.

admiring the universe

Somewhere under the rainbow, I’m looking up trying to grasp a piece of that perfection. I’m reminded that there’s something greater outside of these white walls and shiny gray steel. Even this arrogant beast I’m in the belly of must raise its eyes to this bow which bends over its towers- impenetrable by its machine guns and inhumane policies. Knowing there’s something more powerful allows me to never submit to something less than.

It’s a smile that I can hold on to in the face of every insult, tactic, threat and attack. When the load is heavy you have to be realistic and not pray for the lighter load, but for stronger shoulders. In the eyes of the rainbow you pray as if everything depends on man; and that’s because peace comes not from the absence of conflict, rather from the ability to cope with it.

You see, under these storm torn skies there’s always a reminder that it’s something afterwards, something greater, something more beautiful. So, we have no qualms about asking for the rain. Not because we enjoy the storm, but because we know when it passes there will be a magnificent ray of light hovering over us, bending towards a better direction.

Today I saw a rainbow. I hope it’s not my last.

By Kenneth Foster Jr.

Kenneth Foster - never say you were not aware


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  1. Wow!! This has really touched me and brought me to tears. I’m so sorry for the heartache you face. We sit in our houses and complain of this or that, but we have the freedom to do something about it, and then we read your post, and the things I have to complain about are really nothing.

    Kenneth, if you are able to get this message, just know that God loves you! Maybe in him letting you see that rainbow was a sign to let you know you have his favor. He is your Noah or Apostle, other words, He is all you need. Even when things seem like it’s not going to get better, don’t give up. He will answer, in His timing. which is not always our timing. Even in that small room with white walls and steel, you are helping others. Your testimony is getting out and others are being touched.
    I will keep you in my prayers, May God strengthen you as only He can and continue to keep hope in Him. He said call upon the name of the Lord and you shall be saved. He loves you and He’s there with you. It’s not based upon feeling, but based on the Word of God. So hold on to that home my friend.
    God bless you.
    Thank you Christine for sharing this.

    1. Hi Connie,

      Thank you for your heartfelt comment! I will make sure that Kenneth gets it 🙂
      I’ve read a lot of his writings and every single one has touched me to the core. I hope that the word gets out and that he will achieve his freedom one day. He has much to offer to the world.

  2. How very difficult it must be to have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mind you even when we are very young we have a sense of the people around us. It is possible to know that the ethics of others reflect our personalities. I still don’t think it was fair (he was only driving the car) but then again the law is unable to judge what he knew at the time.

    I’m pleased that the rainbow brings hope to him.

    1. Hi Lily,

      Yes, he was only 19 at the time. At that age we tend to make foolish mistakes. I did too, not to the extent of getting in trouble with the law, but still, they are things I wouldn’t do today.

      I think that with many people at that age  it isn’t only who you choose to hang out with but also who the people in your immediate environment are while growing up, right? 

      Thanks for your comment! I hope that Kenneth will walk out of those prison gates and experience freedom one day.

  3. Wow, this is amazing. I am a believer, who struggles through that ecclesiastical kind of tug-of-war relationship with God. A lot of it is my struggle to maintain hope in the face of some very deep wounds.

    For what it’s worth, the last thing I cling to, is to let my feelings be whatever they may be at the moment, and remain steady in this verse:

    “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

    Ecc 12:13-14.

  4. He has such insight. I wish more people were like him. This is such an injustice. I pray more level headed people see the wrongs that were made and correct them. I think I saw an article about him the other day but I do not remember the outcome.

    Has he been freed? I certainly hope so. He is a remarkable man and for those thinking someone who has done wrong cannot be rehabilated, well, they’re wrong. Everyone should be given a second chance.

    His sentence was truly a travesty. This needs to be corrected.

    Yes, we all need hope and could learn a lot from Kenneth.


    1. Hi Nina,

      He hasn’t been freed yet, it’s still an ongoing struggle … I hope that there will be a level-headed person in his state who can do something about it and who will finally give him his freedom.
      Thank you for your comment!

  5. A really interesting, well written, inspiring post.  We all need hope and to look beyond our present circumstances. I really liked the image of the rainbow as a sign of hope. It was also good to view the different ways of looking at a situation we might find ourselves in that are beyond our control and I agree it is how you view and deal with conflict that is important. And, yes, there is always hope!

  6. This is very touching! I can’t say how I would cope if I were in such a situation without my fault. He trusted his friends, and they didn’t deserve his trust. The way he thinks and resonates is intense. It happens when people are in deep distress. Touching! Being imprisoned and never see a rainbow or other beautiful signs. For me, the rainbow is about our covenant with God, and I believe this was really a sign of hope for Kenneth. God is protecting him and hasn’t forgotten Kenneth.

  7. Wow, that was very insightful. It must say a lot about the character of a person who is sitting behind bars for so long to still hold on to any hope of seeing the world outside of those bars. I’ll admit that I’ve seen numerous rainbows over the course of my life but I’ve never experienced a thought or feeling like Kenneth has. I hope he knows how many people his words have reached, thank you for sharing his story and continuing to be an advocate.

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