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All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Thursday, March 19, 2020

While prisoners fret, we bicker!


It reminds me of the second or third grade!

“My dad can beat up your dad.”

“Nyah-uh, my dad is bigger and stronger, and he can wallop your dad!”

I’m looking at comments from people for whom I’ve had a lot of respect.

“The Republicans are to blame for all of this.”

“Uh-uh, those Socialist Democrats are all losers…they caused this problem.”

“Thank God we have Trump in charge, instead of that loser Obama. He’s to blame!”

“Obama has more compassion in his little finger than Trump has in his big head.”

As I’m reading this, Matt and I are struggling to stay ahead of 60-70 email messages a day from frightened and nervous prisoners. There are 38,000 men and women, created in the image of God, living in Michigan’s 30 prisons, and they
           -cannot practice social distancing (not in crowded med lines and mess halls)
          -can’t take preventive sanitizing measures
          -may not have visitors
          -don’t have money to keep making phone calls and sending emails
          -worry a lot about their very welfare, and
          -hear all kinds of rumors.

Because family members and loved ones cannot be there for them, HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS staffers seem to be stepping in as surrogates. These people are craving more information, worry that they’re not getting appropriate health care, and struggle, wading through a maze of disinformation or misinformation. If nothing else, they just need someone to talk to.

If that virus goes on a rampage in our prison system, the devastation will be immeasurable.

Meanwhile, Matt and I are concerned about our own staff, our own volunteers, and yes, our own families.

As a member of one of the highest risk groups, I’m sitting here doing my best to hold the hands of inmates, and encourage the HFP team. And then I read this juvenile, partisan garbage in Facebook.

If that bickering and petty finger-pointing reflect your personal claims of patriotism, Christianity, and humanity, the coronvirus is not our only problem.

I'm hoping you'll join us in rising above all of that today, and, as you pray, remember especially our prisoners, their families and loved ones, and all who work with them and for them. 

We ARE all in this together.

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