The late Tony Wolf, missionary to Haiti, was a guest on my radio talk show, telling about a young Haitian woman who gave birth to a child while riding in his Jeep. “I decided it was time for me to take my hands out of my pockets,” said Tony.
Still good advice today.
I’m reading Sister Helen Prejean’s life story in her new book: RIVER OF FIRE: MY SPIRITUAL JOURNEY.
I guess one might have predicted that this vivacious Roman Catholic nun, who appeared in Grand Haven as a guest of HFP last year, would go on to greatness. And that, at age 80, she hasn’t even begun to slow down. One might have guessed that just by watching her jump out of the family station wagon, as a teenager, ready to begin her new life in a convent. “I’m here,” she proclaimed. “I’m here to become a bride of Christ!”
As another active octogenarian, I’m constantly amazed at the number of my peers who are sitting around doing nothing. Many are in good physical and mental health for their age, yet they remain idle. That doesn’t seem healthy to me. Or wise. This may seem a bit judgmental, but I don’t think it’s even right, especially since there’s just so much to be done!
If you watched Lester Holt’s TV specials over the weekend, these numbers should have startled you: 2.2 million Americans behind bars; and, 2.7 million kids in American who have a parent behind bars!
Let me just add one more stat: 38,000 people in the Michigan prison system---much higher number than the averages of other Great Lakes states. And, at least 1,000 of them are innocent! Wrongly convicted! Shocking. Shameful.
Sister Prejean rather jokingly explains her naivete re social justice issues as a young nun: “I thought that all I had to do was to be charitable to those around me and maybe make a contribution to the missions. I thought that praying was enough.”
A sentiment not uncommon among the people with whom we circulate.
Regardless of your age, praying is not enough. A contribution to a mission is not enough. This is an American crisis.
It’s time for all of us to get our hands out of our pockets!