Thursday, July 5, 2012

on feeling the heat

Heat is a hot subject these days.

I'm the first to admit that heat and I don't get along very well. And I've felt real heat. I've been in blistering conditions in Viet Nam, and in Haiti. People in those parts of the world really deal with heat. But right now, in our own nation, people are suffering. Because of a brutal high pressure system, and the ravages of storms, heavily populated sections of our country are not only experiencing high temperatures, but are doing so without electricity. People there have no air conditioning, and as we hear these news accounts, our hearts go out to those who must deal with this.

But I must confess that today I'm really feeling guilty. Temperatures are supposed to soar to near 100 degrees again today, and I have air conditioning, in my house and in my car. I am blessed, and I will not suffer.

But yesterday I received a telephone call from James, in the Thumb Correctional Facility. You may not have known this, but our prisons do not have air conditioning. They don't even have good air circulation. Fans are small and at a premium. I asked James how it was there. By 9 yesterday morning they had shut down all activities because the temperature had already climbed to 90. In the prison buildings, the air was stifling. He said the little fans that prisoners may have just don't cut it, and there are no big fans. In this sweltering heat, he said it felt like someone threw a damp cloth over you. Dew point was out of sight.

This is merely an update to ask you to not only remember those people suffering on the eastern seaboard, but those right here in Michigan who really deserve better. I don't know why we cannot provide better air circulation. I believe in air conditioning for prisons, but that's a stretch for many.

Prisoners are suffering today, my friends. Whether you approve of their conditions or not, please pray for them.

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