Monday, August 3, 2015

HFP's quiet tool

Many years ago, when I was the regular choir director in my church, I selected an anthem that made a powerful impact.  The title was SOMEBODY’S PRAYING ME THROUGH.  Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

Pressing over me like a big blue sky
I know someone has me on their heart tonight
That's why I know it's gonna be alright
'Cause somebody's praying me through.

The song came to mind this morning when I woke up, because my son Matt was already in the city of Adrian, waiting his turn to be at the side of an inmate who was scheduled to meet with a member of the Michigan Parole Board.  We sometimes do this for deserving inmates who may not have a friend or family member as their representative for this rather traumatic confrontation.  Saying a silent prayer for him and the prisoner, I was reminded just how much prayer is a part of our work.  It’s not something we talk about, but it’s there all the time.

One more quick musical story before I develop this theme.  I’m also a church organist.  When our custom made organ was installed, I noticed that there was one blank stop on the instrument.  Based on an idea I had read in a novel, I asked the manufacturer to put a face on that draw knob.  It would say:  DIV INT, for Divine Intervention.  It’s the only church organ like it in the country!  I’ve been playing the instrument for 20 years now, and if you check my organ registrations, you’ll see that I use the stop regularly.  It makes no sound, of course…it’s a blank.  But it’s a simple reminder for me that I need divine intervention when I’m playing.  And it works!

That’s the organ stop we pull here at the HFP office.  Regularly.

Parents of inmates call with heart-breaking stories.  Can we help?  Sometimes, perhaps…but we can always pray.  The same with the multitude and variety of problems that prisoners call to our attention 7 days a week.  The same with Parole Board interviews.  The same with Public Hearings.  The same with HFP presentations behind bars.  The same with HFP struggles with JPay.  And the prayers are not just by Matt and me, although heaven receives many.  Years ago we established a beautiful relationship with a person we have never met, in Washington State.  She is not able to provide financial support, so she became a prayer partner.  With or without our specific requests, Laura is faithfully praying for HFP.  And she is not alone.  Many of our supporters do the same.  The members of our Board of Directors are praying people, and our work and our issues are regularly on their prayer lists.  We do not begin a board meeting without invoking God’s blessing.

HFP is honored to be an instrument that touches the lives of hundreds of Michigan prisoners.  But we don’t take the credit.  We know who does the touching.  We talk to him regularly.

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