I had two ideas for blog postings today. Both had teeth in them.
I wanted to write a follow-up to that public demonstration outside Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility on Sunday. I so appreciated all of the people who showed up to protest the way we’re treating women in our Michigan prison system! One participant told me there were two bus-loads of people, and that cars were lined up and down the street. God bless those brave souls who weren’t worried about cold temps and slippery sidewalks!
I also wanted to write about rising costs for prisoners, after Matt posted a note from a guy who was explaining the crunch that people behind bars are facing. True, the minimum wage went up for Michigan workers. True, prices keep going up inside and outside of prison. BUT, no wage increase for prison workers, if they’re lucky enough to get a job. Maddening!
But then I thought, “Maybe it’s time for a warm and fuzzy.” We sometimes forget just how important they are.
I was just looking at a note that I had received from a former prisoner, along with a year-end gift to HFP.
(then explaining who he was)
talked with you when I was in prison in Marquette. I want to wish you
blessings! I’m doing fine---I’ve been out since late April. I’m helping out at
a homeless shelter here in Saginaw. I send my prayers.
Our visit must have been about 15 years ago, in the early days of HFP. One-on-one contacts with friends behind bars never come home empty.
Then, earlier today, Matt forwarded the names and addresses of recent HFP donors, so I could prepare, sign and post thank-you notes. Among them was the name of a prisoner who had sent a check, hoping it could get here by the end of the year so that we could reach our goal in the matching-fund drive. It didn’t get issued until January 10. The check was for $20.00. Can you imagine the magnitude of a gift from a person who probably earns a dollar a day? Impressive! Touching! I assured him that his donation made a difference.
So today I’m putting aside the “Give ‘em hell” speech.
Those of us who work with the incarcerated love these people! So did our Lord. And many of them love us right back again, as these two little stories illustrate.
And that ain’t all bad!