Monday, May 13, 2013
"Spanning the Gulf......................."
It being Mother’s Day this past weekend, one fellow in my group cancelled his participation in our bi-monthly scheduled visit to the Youth Detention Center. He and his wife suffered the loss of their only son, eighteen years old, in a traffic accident over a decade ago, the tragedy yet fresh on occasions like this and the need to just get away together understandable. Saturday evening, my own family had a scare: three of our grandsons, along with several other companions, were forced into the expressway guardrail at about 55 mph, the van totaled, but all occupants walking away with no injuries. Life happens. We thank God when it seems that His hand somehow kept all safe. We turn to Him in our grief when, for whatever reason, finality cuts deep into the heart of our existence, His anchor-line giving support in the midst of what we cannot change. How, I wonder, does one get that message across to the other end of this journey? What does one say to a group of kids, none of them yet out of their teens, a few looking like it’s impossible that they’re yet twelve, and on this occasion one small boy about nine who has been seated with the girls, a “ward of the court” they tell us, positioned here until something else can be arranged. Standing before them, you ask yourself if any of these young men and women before you have any sound stability in the way of parental guidance. In such prayer as we can draw from them after an hour of sharing, our women learn that one that she has no relatives at all, mom and dad deceased, she simply assigned to the system. The male population seldom gives us as much “release”, no one about to show “weakness”; but it’s not hard to look in their eyes and find evidence of God’s tug on their heart, often a tear or two sliding down their face, unable to be contained. One man did raise his hand to ask that we remember his mom who passed when he was just five; and, as the others were escorted to other spaces, he came forward for that request to be met. Do they “get it” at all? The guards have told us at different times how it is expressly after our meetings that they have noticed a change in the spirit there, no arguments, discussions about that which we brought forth rising between our former congregation. I’ll take that. The mission is His. Our charge isn’t to prove we, alone, have conquered the Book, but to point them to the truth of a risen Savior who is willing to meet them where they are. We fold up our tents and go home in about an hour. The Holy Ghost remains……
Posted by Jim at 6:53 PM