Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 2012

Because tradition has it that St. Valentine ministered to prisoners, I always feel like its a special holiday for people like me! This ministering goes far beyond the jail to volunteers and women who have returned to their families and communities. With our annual meeting coming up next week, February 21, there is a sense of accountability that arises. I am accountable for the work I am called to. I feel it is important that this experience of accountability not only challenges me but brings great joy as well. I hope that these two women, who come to the jail ministry from very different perspectives were able to draw from the ministry and continue to feel supported by it. Here are their reflections:
"One of the new things I started doing in 2011 is playing the piano for the women's worship service in the County Jail. In February I started playing the piano in jail twice a month. Last week when I was there, we had to wait about 15 minutes after the service was over before a guard came to escort the women back to their cell block. While we were waiting one of the women asked me if I knew the song, "Dona Nobis Pacem." I said that I'd heard it, but I didn't have the music for it. I suggested that we go to the piano together and I'd try to pick it out with her singing it. After we did that song, other women joined us and a spontaneous Christmas Carol Sing-along broke out. It was so much fun!"

73, an excerpt...again...so powerful, in the enduring love, compassion and care of our God.  i am always so grateful when these appear and i see these struggles of mine, of those i see around me, the crazy shames, regrets, actions and reactions that come with this being human, are truly truly nothing new.  and for thousands of years, we have had the gift, the opportunity to just tap into grace.  all we have to do idsaccept it?  and do it continually perhaps.
"I realized how bitter I had become,
how pained I had been by all I had seen.
I was so foolish and ignorant-
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
you are holding my right hand.
You will keep on guiding me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever." (NLT) Psalm 73:21-26s
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