Saturday, April 7, 2018

Is a prisoner worth as much as a parrot?


I was watching a show on a cable TV channel. A state conservation officer had been called to help find the owner of a tiny, beautiful, frightened pet parrot that had escaped.

Granted it was part of the whole TV plot, but I was amazed to see how much effort was expended not only to save the life of this little bird, but to find its owner. First there was a kind person who spotted the bird in her yard, made a choice to catch it, and then get outside help. In the next phase, the conservation officer contacted a bird sanctuary and persuaded them to hold it. Finally, a successful effort on social media to locate the owner. A lot of work, a lot of effort, all for a little bird.

In the end, a happy reunion!

It reminded me of the parable Jesus told grumbling Pharisees.

 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’”

I love that story. And I love the old gospel song that Elizabeth Clephane and Ira Sankey created to remember it. But that’s the topic for another blog.

The point of this little tidbit is to focus on the stuff that my team works on 7 days a week.  We’re helping prisoners, and in that work I identify so much with these anecdotes! We go the extra mile, day after day, believing that every person behind bars---regardless of the alleged crime---deserves humane treatment. In another of his stories, Jesus said our Heavenly Father takes care of little birds, then pointing out, “Are you not much more valuable than they?”

He’s obviously referring not just to you and me, but to the prisoner as well…much more valuable than they!

I can tell you this with certainty: Prisoners are getting glimpses of daylight, because HFP’s untiring efforts are prying open their Venetian blinds one slat at a time!

With that, the HFP gang is calling friends and neighbors together to rejoice.



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