It is totally and completely November today.
My little glassed-in office is in the woods, one mile in-land from Lake Michigan, and the November weather can be wintry. Today a "sou-wester" is howling, snow squalls suddenly appear, and the sky remains dark. It's not pleasant.
It would be the most unlikely day to expect a ray of sunshine, especially in this business.
Word of another gang problem in another prison, word from the family of a dying prisoner that they seem to be making no headway, word that an inmate with irritable bowel syndrome can get no medication, word of new retaliation by prison guards...it's what we live with in the HFP office. And it contributes to a dark and gloomy day.
But God has the most amazing way of brightening the day.
Amid all of the complaints of the day comes a note of thanks from a group of women who have been struggling with lack of adequate toilet facilities in a construction zone. We fought for them, and our communications went all the way to the top...to the director of the MDOC and to the warden of that facility. It seemed to work. Today there are reports that the construction crews are working harder and more consistently than ever, and the end appears in sight. And the portable toilets that were brought in provided some relief. "Thanks, HFP, for all of your efforts!"
One ray of sunshine.
Then came a second one! It was Herman on the telephone...after 34 years, he's a free man! "How does it feel to be free, Herman?" "IT FEELS LIKE HEAVEN HAS ARRIVED." HFP provided testimony at his public hearing a couple months ago, and went on record as supporting his release. I'm not sure how much influence we had on the Parole Board, but Herman is convinced that it made a difference. "Thanks, HFP, for all of your efforts."
I like this quote from Linda Poindexter:
Hope is a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds after a storm. Faith is knowing there are more where that one came from.
Amen, Linda. Amen.