Tuesday, September 18, 2012


A guard met us at the front foyer Sunday morning, informing us that, while church service would not be canceled, it would have to be undertaken in somewhat different manner. We have known for several months that three of the present inmates are being held on murder charges. Until now, that fact, though, had changed nothing in so far as our gathering en-masse in the recreation room. Whether someone high in the chain of command had decided that scenario was too dangerous, or whether serious altercations had taken place between the kids was not part of our orientation on this occasion, however. The escort merely told us that, for the last few weeks, these young adults have been isolated in four separate cell blocks and she would now do her best to accommodate us in whatever manner we wished to approach the problem. The two ladies in my group give us value in having a female presence with us in case the girls, who now occupied one of those units, asked for prayer; but neither have ever addressed them thus far with so much as a testimony. They would both, nonetheless, want to be there for that particular space (indeed, they both needed to be there); so, in trying to quickly to divide us in our mission, when Tony chose the boys over partnering with his wife, I went with the women splitting the quartet with him, Big Bob, and my son-in-law Mark. In hindsight, haste doesn’t always give you the Holy Ghost. In truth, the others spoke, afterwards, of a good experience with their two half-hour settings; but this old man feels like more would have been accomplished he had simply just sent Deb and Jackie in alone with no male presence there. It doesn’t always take a “sermon”. It just takes a “connection”, horizontally and vertically; and there is no doubt in my mind about those two being able to handle that. You live. You learn. We return again this Sunday, not all the same faces and Nan (not quite my age) the only representative of her gender, but both a “talker” and a “petitioner” who knows Him well…..

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