Saturday, December 22, 2012

Letter to Prison... Vol. 1, No. 2

The holidays are upon us.

Zachary will be visiting with us until Christmas Eve. I’m not sure if you and his mother are in contact, but at the end of November, Zachary had the two rods in his right leg removed. His orthopedic surgeon put a leg brace on his leg to keep him from too much activity. He will be wearing it until after the first of the year. It causes him to walk like a little tin soldier. It slows him down. That was the intent.

I became rather melancholy last evening thinking about where and what we were all doing last year at this time. Do you remember? Things can and do change in the blink of an eye. Just look at the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Those poor parents are now burying their children, rather than watching them in a school Christmas pageant. I cannot begin to imagine their grief and their loss.

It makes me want to scream and shout and rail against God about injustice.

But I will not. I will instead find ways to do 26 acts of random kindness to remember and celebrate the life of each of the victims. I did my first one just the other day. I purchased Simalac formula and two boxes of cereal and gave it to the local food pantry. I also gave six packs of baby wipes that we’ve had since your son had need of them. I cannot help but think of families with infants who might not be able to afford such simple items.

I believe that Christmas is about forgiveness.

It is about a God who became incarnate to walk among us, to reach out to us as we walk our individual pilgrimage of humanity. As we walk our individual paths, our feet become dirty, filthy. That is when this God-Man girds himself with a towel and lovingly begins to wash our feet. Like his follower Peter, we can say, “No, I will have no part of this!” It’s always about choice, isn’t it? In the end, Peter asked for an entire bath! He just didn’t “get it”. When we are “his” we are clean, but we walk in this world and our feet get dirty. It was the lowliest servant’s job to clean the feet of the visitors to the home. This was so the filth of the world didn’t contaminate the house.

Not only was he born in a stable with stinking, smelly animals, he reduced himself to a servant status to show us the way. A better way. When Jesus washed their feet, he was performing an act of forgiveness. If you were here this Christmas, I would wash your feet… then I would set the table with bread and wine and ask you to share communion with me… with us… to come to the table to which the Christ child has lovingly prepared.

I believe that Christmas is also about love.

Love isn’t always about getting “what we want”. Sometimes, often times it is about getting what we need. Love came down to us at Christmas.

This coming year I will be striving, endeavoring to minimize my life in preparation for retirement and better living. It isn’t about how many possessions we have; it is more about how the possessions have us! It is about how much care they require, how that keeps us from fully and completely living. It is my goal to live with less and to give more. I desire to give more of myself, more of my time and more of my talents and pour them out as an offering to the community at large.

I pray for the blessing of anger; anger at injustice, oppression and the exploitation of people. I pray that I may be a vessel that can be used to work for injustice, freedom and peace. I find I can no longer say I am a Christian and quietly live in a home, locked away with possessions and be content without looking and working to eliminate the above conditions.

Love, from your Mother

Psalm 77:11
The Message (MSG)
11-12 Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
    lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you've accomplished,
    and give a long, loving look at your acts.


  1. I pulled this up earlier, Tamara...on my cell phone.
    I wanted to wait and pull it up later so that I could sit and read and re-read it, because I know what love this Mother (Tamara) has for her son and for people in general. You are one of the kindest ladies I know. I look forward to seeing you one day...if not here, I know we will smile together in Heaven.
    Your post is lovely, as always.
    I pray for your son. I would want Sisters and Brothers in Christ to pray for my son or my daughter. There is power in our prayers. Thank you, Lord, for answered prayers.
    I hope that one day Zachary will know that I pray for him every single night, too... before I go to sleep. I know the love that you have for your Grandson, and I count it a blessing to lift him up to God every evening.
    Your blog is a blessing to me. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    1. Oh Jackie... your kindness has touched my heart! Zachary has drawn a number of Angry Birds... I'm so out of touch with what is popular in today's culture, but I told him I would send them to his Dad. And I've also printed off some of my blog posts that are about him to send. They will either heal our relationship or totally divide it further. Again, it is a choice. Christmas blessings to you and yours! Loved, loved, loved your post on your parent's anniversary.

    2. I have tried playing Angry Birds on my husband's iPhone. I know why they are named what they are named, now. Grrrr. It made ME angry that I couldn't do it correctly the first time, the second time, and the twentieth time! :))
      But that didn't stop me from going back and trying again.
      I bet Zachary's drawings were splendid.
      Prayers for healing relationships; I feel those prayers will be answered my sweet the affirmative.
      Love to you,

  2. I'm praying that the posts will heal your relationship. I love how you wrote "I find I can no longer say I am a Christian and quietly live in a home, locked away with possessions and be content without looking and working to eliminate the above conditions." Faith without works is dead. I'm starting to realize this. Love is more than a feeling, it is also actively doing and loving. To me, it's not about getting to Heaven, ( I think that part is already taken care of) but we're asked to love God and each other. This was a beautiful letter so much heart in it. I'm definitely joining in on praying for you and your family. xoxo

    1. Thank you Nyssa. Again, I must say how I love visiting your blog.


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