Sunday, July 31, 2011


At some point during the last few days, I accidently stepped into the middle of a clip promoting a new documentary about to be aired on Oprah’s television site. It’s entitled “Serving Life” and deals with a program fairly recently commissioned at Angola, a maximum security prison in Louisiana. Younger, healthier prisoners, sentenced to spend the rest of their existence within the walls of this penitentiary, are volunteering themselves to administer hospice to older inmates, to just “being there as family” as those dying take their last few steps into eternity; and what little I witnessed within such short space spoke to my heart. Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, the dregs of society whose actions warranted a jury of their peers to so condemn them to no parole, no world at all other than that contained within these walls, somehow, in a bond formed by the stark reality of their situation, find compassion a part of who they are and commit themselves unto a fellow human being. The narrator of the film is quoted as having noted how, in taking “an opportunity for redemption”, these men remind all of us “of the connection that exists between each and every one of us”; and I think that puts it in perspective. We are communal, tied together in our environment, in our circumstances, on a battlefield of any sort tend to, at last, forgive each other’s flaws, seeing the “person within”, the truth that, regardless of our individuality, we are one in Him……

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