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.