Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Devotions

Matthew 10:27-33 (New International Version)



27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Today’s inspiration came from Our Daily Bread, an online Devotional.

A number of years ago, after coming home from visiting our son in prison we were going through the motions of busyness. No talking, just busyness and each of us lost in our own sorrow and disappointment. I was sitting on the patio finishing up grooming our dogs. I had been observing a hummingbird at the feeder. All of a sudden the little guy made a huge right turn and entered the open patio door!

The chase was on! We blocked off all the open door ways, turned off any lights that were on, pulled the curtains closed so only the patio opening would be illuminated. It didn’t work. The poor little hummer frantically flew between our kitchen and living area. He kept bumping into the ceiling. It was so sad to watch this little bird. After 20-minutes or so of this frantic dance between us, the little guy landed on the ceiling fan. My husband gently picked him up and took him outside where he proceeded to the branch of our eucalyptus tree, chest heaving and trying to recover. He finally flew to the feeder, drank for a bit and headed off.

In review of this incident, the similarity struck me about the hummingbird and someone imprisoned: for all of its short life the hummingbird had the freedom of the sky, but while inside my house, the poor creature kept bumping into the ceiling. The ceiling was a foreign concept to him. Likewise, for those who are incarcerated, a secure perimeter is a foreign concept to them. For their time of imprisonment, for the duration of their sentence, they must become acclimated to this new and strange environment. Where they once had the freedom of the open skies, they now have restrictions, rules and regulations.

My prayer is that they never get used to the environment of prison in the sense that they are so comfortable they find it difficult to return to society.

My Lord and my God, I pray for those who are incarcerated today. I pray they are using their time constructively and preparing for the time when they will be released back into society. I pray for those persons who work with the inmate population: the corrections officers, counselors, administrators, teachers, librarians, chaplains and the volunteers. Keep them safe and keep them ever vigilant. In Jesus’ name I pray!