|The pope with a prisoner (creative commons)|
I was in prison and you visited me - Jesus
A shop assistant expressed a genuine desire to write to a prisoner when she discovered that I do.
"Okay, I'll find you a prisoner," I said. I always speak faster than I think. As I walked down the street to the bank I was wondering if I really could follow through.
And in a Godincidence (those who follow my blog will know that these happen constantly in my life) who should all but bump into me as I rounded the corner and into the arcade where the bank is - but the lovely gentleman who gave me the names of the three American prisoners whom I originally wrote to, now two - because one is released. ( In fact she's reading this post and doing sooo well. I am just bursting with pride.We are now Facebook friends and in constant contact. I love that girl.)
I said to him, "You don't happen to have another prisoner who needs a penpal, do you? I have someone who is really keen."
He held out the letter in his hand to me and said, "This just arrived." Wow. We laughed. I could have hugged him, but I was unusually well behaved.
I turned right around, marched back up the street and into the shop where she works. She was alone at the desk. I placed the letter in her hand. "Here she is. Her name is Barbara. You are meant to write to her."
She was taken aback, with tears in her eyes she took the letter, lent forward and said quietly, "My sister has just gone to jail." (Perhaps this time I can become a prison visitor...)
One of my prisoner friends is alone in a cell at the moment. The funding for the course he was doing was cut. He, like all at his prison, has very little time out of his cell and so very little time in fresh air. He is alone with his thoughts. He has no visitors. My regular letters keep him going. It isn't a big thing for me, but it means everything to him. Do you know someone who is invisible to the world - who could do with a letter from you? Well what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and some paper (it doesn't need to be fancy) and let them know they are seen. And if you want a prisoner... we'll see what we can do (God and me).