Posts Tagged ‘Inmate’

A Christmas card.

A letter.

Something from the family.

It sounds so happy, but for one of my friends this year…it wasn’t.

See she got a card from her family, yes.

Have you ever gotten scribbles in a card?

Sometimes they are happy and full of love.

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Sometimes they are not.

This one was not.

scribble

This one had the faces of her family scribbled out.

It had words written to remind her of the pain she caused them.

It told her to look at the picture without faces and every time she did to remember their hurt.

My friend is in jail.

She did cause pain to her family.

But that doesn’t make retaliation ok.

Will you pray for my friend?

She loves her family.

She has two young children and she is not sure where they will end up.

She is hopeful to finish her high school education while she’s in jail.

This Christmas wasn’t an easy one for her.

But the jail did let me give out Bible studies for presents.

So she did get one present.

I have hope that by doing the study and reading God’s word she will find His peace in spite of her circumstances.

And I hope for the rest of you, that you stop and take a moment.

Think of someone who hurt you.

Choose to forgive them.

Instead of retaliating.

Love them. Jesus loves you even though you’ve hurt Him. Let’s be the change we want to see.

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Sometimes the world is overwhelming. It seems like there are problems that are too big to solve. Maybe there are. It seems like one voice is too quiet. One attitude is too weak. One belief is not enough.

When I think of Ferguson. Racism. Modern day slavery. Homelessness. Orphans. Inmates. The problems are bigger than what I can solve. That my friends is just a basic fact. You all knew that. I know that. I sadly cannot fix the world.

But when I stop to think, I stand corrected. There are a lot of times when one person made an impact that shook the world. Jesus. Mother Teresa. Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi. Rosa Parks. Other than Jesus, these people weren’t really a big deal. They were individuals who didn’t have much of a voice, but they took the lead. They made a difference. They impacted the world through whatever means they had. I can too. One voice does make a difference.

  • Ferguson: I cannot go there to listen to peoples stories (black and white) and give people hugs, but I can encourage those around me to respond well. I can share the facts and refrain from sharing the negative commentary. I can pray for the families involved (black and white) and for the many families who never made the news but have experienced the same loss, unrest, injustice. One voice does make a difference.
  • Racism: I can love well. Share truth. Encourage people to celebrate diversity instead of pretending it isn’t there. I can refuse to be a part of any racial jokes or derogatory comments. I can find my identity in Christ and not the color of my skin and encourage others to do the same. One voice does make a difference.
  • Modern day slavery: I cannot put an end to it myself, but I can wear a dress everyday for a month to raise awareness that it still exists. I will be participating in “Dressember” (on Moldova’s team!) which raises funds and awareness to stop human trafficking. I personally am not raising funds, as I am not yet fully supported for my own ministry, but I can raise awareness. One voice does make a difference.
  • Homelessness: I don’t have a home to offer to my friends without, but I do have hugs, smiles, encouragement. I have a voice that stands up for them when I hear people make generalized comments and gently remind people that “the homeless” are not just a group, they are wonderful individuals each with their own story. And I have a chance to hear a couple of those stories. One voice does make a difference.
  • Orphans: As much as I would love to, I cannot adopt them all. There’s too many and I don’t have the other half of the family that it would take yet. But I can love my brother. I can babysit kids in the foster system. I can raise awareness and help struggling Mamas to know how to take care of their kiddos. I can support other peoples work with orphans. One voice does make a difference.
  • Inmates: I can’t get them out…nor do I want to try. I can’t give them all hugs (which I seem to think is the answer to everything). But I did just get it ok’d after much begging to buy the 56 women I interact with in jail a Beth Moore Bible study workbook for Christmas (Let me know if you’d like to sponsor an inmate for Christmas by funding one book – about $16 each – don’t buy the book though…I will have to order them all together and ship them to my office in the jail).

Basically, there is a lot I can do. And I’m not just one voice…I am one of many. There are so many who care about these same things. Jesus has the power to bring healing to our broken world, and He choses to work through people. Broken people. In a broken world that He wants to redeem. That’s why He came back to save us. Don’t be overwhelmed…follow Jesus. He has a plan for your life that may not always make sense to you, but it is better than you could imagine!

And listen to this advice from Mother Teresa: “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” – Mother Teresa