Recently, he invited people to attend a play that the prisoners were putting on at the prison. My friend, Gladys, age 90, went along. She related her experiences to me.
She was very impressed with the fact that they were Boys, not men. They craved a glance from her, or a smile and a wave. She freely gave them out, as she was escorted in a wheel chair by one of the inmates. When she spoke to the young man, he would stop, go along beside her, and look at her eyeball to eyeball as they spoke. As they were leaving, she asked when he would get out and why he was there. He replied that he had made really bad choices and that he should be released in 5 years. She looked at him, in the eye, and told him she could tell that he was a good boy. She promised that she would pray for him every day, and asked him to pray, as well. With tears in his eyes, he promised. Later, Tom asked if Gladys knew why the young man was in prison. She didn’t, but guessed it was because of gang involvement. She evidently was very close to the truth, and Tom added that he was convicted of murder. Gladys doesn’t care. She knows he will be ok.
It must be my week to be convicted by the Holy Spirit about “visiting the prisoners.” Here’s another story…..
Gary Reece was incarcerated for 25 years
for a crime he did not commit,
and he said it was a blessing.
Wow. I just heard about him today from my Facebook friend, Jerry Kohlbrand as he shared that Gary was seriously ill, and dying. Jerry’s version is much more personal and exciting! You just have to know Bro Jer. Please pray for Gary, and his wife. Please pray that his ministry will continue for years to come and inspire us to reach out to those who are in prison.
In my past life as a volunteer at the crisis pregnancy center, I worked with a lot of wonderful young ladies. I loved them, and served them, offering them encouragement, hope and sought to connect them with other services in the community. They had varying needs, but most of all they seemed to thrive on being loved and accepted.
When I chose to retire, I thought my involvement in their lives was finished. I was wrong.
I meet them downtown. They greet me. They share their lives. They call to get help and advice. I guess God isn’t finished with me yet.
I’m not sure what this will look like in the future..but if a friend reaches out to you for love, acceptance and help, you dare not turn them away.
ShareFather Eddie Fronske,a Franciscan priest, lives in White River Arizona. Eagle stories, reconciliation of the Apache with their enemies, the Navajo and the Pima and stories of forgiveness of those who still harbor violence and hatred for the Apache people held the people of my parish in awe. AFTCO is Anna’s Dream Anna, the Parish…… Continue Reading