Brothers All

Soon, at least one copy of my book will have landed on two other continents!  While the book is far from being a best seller, it is just plain COOL to know that one has gone to Italy and one is on its way to Africa. Granted, the possibility exists that once the books reach their destination, they will never be read. I would, however, prefer to imagine a connection of minds, hearts, and souls meeting across the miles.

I find it fascinating that there is someone over 8,000 miles from my home who cares about prisoners and ministers to them – someone who understands English and with whom I can communicate. I envision someone who is fired up at the very thought of reaching out to souls that most of society shuns, ignores, or blatantly states they are where they belong, will never change, and that each and every one deserves to be right where he or she is at.

It is comforting to know that these others who care about prisoners will likely be providing some kind of service to them. Perhaps it will be a lawyer who will be defending a woman who has been unjustly imprisoned. Perhaps a missionary will be raising funds to help former prisoners who are just beginning a new life “on the outside.” It might be someone  is praying for those men and women who did indeed commit crimes, but who have changed. And perhaps there are souls out there praying for the ones who remain angry, hardened, and hopeless.

So many of the prisoners I have personally met, or corresponded with, are so grateful that somebody cares about them. They are lonely. They are sad. They are unable to attend funerals of loved ones. They’ve drifted apart from friends of their past. Many who are anticipating release soon, are fearful – of what they might encounter “out there.” Many have absolutely NO support system. Will they “make” it? Can they? How will they support themselves? Can they support a family?

This is a “shout out” to other prison ministry devotees. Thank you for being there! Thank you for caring. Thank you for taking the time to help these individuals in some way. Every little bit of kindness or compassion that you share with these men and women does not go unnoticed. Every bit of it goes toward helping them change the things they believe about themselves and about the world.

I was reminded today that Jesus said, “I was in prison and you visited Me.” He didn’t say that He visited those in prison. May you continue to spread the word that these, indeed, are our brothers…and if you are able, go one step further:  they are the essence of Jesus, also our Brother.

Carpe Diem

I don’t know about you, but if I am really honest with myself, I have to admit that I am lazy. I don’t want people to think that about me, though. I like for people to think of me as diligent and dutiful, always having my nose to the grindstone.

I put things off. I do what I must do to “get by.” I find there are many things I would like to do, investigate, or learn…but I often become put off by the enormity of many subjects. I question my ability to do “do them justice,” and then I become overwhelmed and, regrettably, end up do nothing.

My best work happens when I am under the pressure of a deadline. As a retiree, I find I used my time much more productively when I was working. Now, I can (for the most part) choose to “do it tomorrow.” The problem with that is, when tomorrow comes, I may choose to do something else.

So why do we procrastinate? Why do we allow ourselves to be less than that of which we are capable? Why do we wait – perhaps till it is too late – to “get it right?”

How remarkable that each of us is so unique! No two human beings will ever have the exact same thoughts. Not a single person’s experience will ever be exactly the same as another’s. I long to revel in the possibilities, yet I fight the sluggishness of procrastination daily. My hope for today is that those of us who are not driven to achieve, may come to appreciate the gifts we have been given! May we begin to stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zones! We were not created to be couch potatoes, and we have been given no guarantee for tomorrow. Carpe diem! Today, start being all that you can be!