All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Kindness begets kindness evermore. Sophocles

HIS MEN, the male chorus that I founded in 1972, is no more. While the music has stopped, my memories continue. We liked little things!

While other Christian groups seemed to thrive on performing in prominent venues before large crowds, our most meaningful experiences were in circumstances exactly the opposite. We performed an entire concert for an ailing missionary on the Haitian Island of La Gonave. When we were traveling in the “hollers” of Kentucky, we sang for a little old lady who wasn’t well enough to come to the concert. We performed in the back of a pickup truck down her little two-track road. An audience of one.

I’m reminded of that today as we prepare for a HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS Board of Directors meeting. For these quarterly sessions, key people in our team are asked to prepare activity reports.

Our kind and caring Medical Director, Dr. Bob Bulten, reported that in addition to answering more than a couple hundred email messages related to prisoner medical issues, he personally made some visits to inmates. Said Dr. Bob: “One of whom I have seen multiple times, as he is dying of tongue cancer at Duane Waters Medical facility.” Just doing it because he cares.

As with HIS MEN, we take pride in major successes---freeing Maurice Carter, freeing Jimmy Hicks! But there’s something really special about helping a musician-prisoner to finally get permission to play his keyboard behind bars, arranging transportation to prison for an elderly and disabled mom, or helping a young, imprisoned mother to see her little girl for a birthday visit.

I can tell you this: We may be responding to 1,000 calls a month, but small acts of kindness are common here, and we intend to keep it that way! It's part of our DNA.

My dear friend and gospel singer Alma Perry, who left this earth far too early, used to sing:

If I can help somebody, as I pass along
If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song
If I can show somebody, that he's traveling wrong
Then my living shall not be in vain

Leo Buscaglia put it this way:

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.     

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