Your Reward

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Valuing life has its own rewards to those who offer the gift.

Submitted: October 01, 2008

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Submitted: October 01, 2008

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Out my window I stare into the distance as if what I can see is where I am allowed to go. I picture your faces and construct a story of how each of you came to care about me, about us. I sculpt a face with placid features, the smile gone but the hope remaining, that bears the pain of a life stunted by incarceration. I clasp the caring, capable hand of someone who watches wide-eyed as prejudice and connections decide who goes to jail.
 
I am sorry for your pain. I am sorry for your sadness. I am sorry for the truth you must realize: that we are beyond your physical reach. There is a connection between us, however tenuous, a frail, beautiful string, and this morning I thank God for it. Please do not let go and thank you for holding on.
 
I wish I could tell you what your reward will be for embracing the stigmatized, considering your own behavior before casting the first stone, and for being the proverbial father of the prodigal so who welcomes his child home despite how far he has strayed.
 
I can tell you this – when I was first arrested I thought my life was over and I made plan to kill myself. If I were allowed out on bail I would take pills and if I had to stay in jail I would use my bra clasps to slice open my wrists. My mother, witness to my painful struggles in life, visited me in prison and said, “Don’t you dare give up on me now” and it was if her breath resuscitated me. Her valuing my life inflated my lungs and because I believed her to be sincere I did not take my life.
 
I began to eat. I started to speak. I moved my legs and soon I started to write. I met people like Sister Maureen and Ellie who placed their finger beneath my chin and lifted my head up saying, “Speak so I can hear you. write so I may know you.”
 
Then, the volunteers told me of more people who, though I was removed from their world, cared whether my punishment was just. And my posture straightened, my fear subsided, and my words became sure-footed.
 
So, today I just want to say thank you. Thank you for letting me live a life with grace even though I made mistakes. Thank you for valuing the flawed among you. It is my promise you will not be sorry; you will be rewarded.


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