On this special day honoring dads, we remember fathers and grandfathers whose hearts are heavy.
We pray for Mr. E, whose lavish life-style came to an abrupt halt when two evil families plotted a way to get their hands on some of his wealth. Their little girls would tell stories about his fictitious behavior. Cops, a prosecutor and a jury all believed their story. Mr. E doesn’t live in his mansion any more, doesn’t drive any of his fancy cars, and doesn’t eat gourmet meals. His life behind bars is hell. And he won’t get any visits today. His wife of 20 years went looking for someone else who could give her the good life. And his two daughters, now parents themselves, don’t really want their kids to know anything about “naughty” Grandpa. There are hundreds more like Mr E, nay thousands, and we place their broken hearts before you.
We pray for Mr. B, an angry and an embarrassed father, who’ll be making the long drive to visit his son in prison today…but he’s not happy about it. He can’t identify with all those tattoos and with long hair in a pony-tail. In his days kids smoked cigarettes, not pot, and went to the barber shop twice a month. But deep in his heart, he’s upset with himself. Did he really have to work so many hours that he didn’t have time to go fishing with the kid, to drive him to little league, to attend the school play when he was the star? Is it too late to try to communicate with the boy, to tell him he really does love him, to tell him that he really meant no harm? Would it be too awkward to give him a hug? There are hundreds more like Mr B, nay thousands, and we place their troubled hearts before you.
We pray for Mr. T, an elderly African American grandfather, who is no longer able to drive and who is hoping he can get a ride to the women’s prison. His ancestors were slaves, and he still wonders just how much life has improved for some people of color. His little grand-daughter was born and raised in the ghetto. She was selling her body for drugs almost before she was out of puberty. She became a single mom while still in her teens, thinking that she then might have something and somebody to love. It didn’t work. But Grandpa T wants to get to prison today to tell her how proud he is about her accomplishments in prison…getting her GED, helping the prison chaplain, playing music and singing hymns in the Sunday services. It took time, but the prayers of her grandparents were answered. She has a second chance! There are hundreds more grand-dads like Mr. T, nay thousands, and we place their tender hearts before you.
We offer this prayer on behalf of all fathers and grandfathers in prison, and/or who are parents of kids in prison. And we do so in the name of your son, whose short but profound life and ministry on this earth now offer hope for an eternal Father’s Day where the celebration will never end and where there’ll be no pain and sorrow.