A people in Waiting: The Roman Catholic Church:
August 2022. Went to prison. Arrived on time and arrived in my designated room. Waited. I have been getting acclimated to waiting. When I arrive I advise the guard who calls the dorms to notify inmates I have arrived so they can be released to attend. The men I visit are in dorm M. I put my stuff on the table and sit down to wait.
A time to just Wait – What to do with a Wait- Spiritual Sharing during a Wait :
As I am waiting, a young man sitting in the room ask me a question? For the next hour I begin explaining who I am, why I am here and ask him a few questions about his situation.
Suffering – any suffering? Suffering can be a non verbal method of communications for those with eyes to see. Could Jesus have been speaking the whole time he was nailed to the cross? Was there blood coming from his head and into his eyes? Could it have been very painful? You bet!
Holy Smokes an hour evaporates: Then the young man tells me the inmate I am waiting on is in dorm K! I go to the guard and provide the name and dorm. Lord have mercy – the inmates shows up in less than 5 minutes. What you been doing? Evangelization is my description.
I change the subject to what has been going on with the inmate since I last visited? Oh boy did he have a story to tell. He checked out of his dorm signing out with the guard. Another three guards where near the exit and talking. One of the guards was assigned to his dorm and advised him to sign out. He responded that he had signed out. Apparently a misunderstanding took place resulting in some confusion and triggered human emotions for both men. Well bottom line it didn’t bod well for the inmate I came to visit. He ended up in a place called the hole. When he first was incarcerated he frequented the hole. But several years ago after finding his way back to practicing his faith – his behavior changed for the better. He shared although he was not happy about being placed in the hole he was calm. In fact he said the warden, deputy warden, chaplain and three other officers came to visit him in the hole. They wanted to know what’s up since this was not his recent behavior.
What to do with a Wait – Spiritual Sharing follows:
My question? I was there an hour before the young inmate reveled to me he knew where the inmate was I came to visit. Then the inmate arrives and tells me the story of his waiting in the hole and while he was waiting the visitors who came to check on him.
Waiting can be Spiritually Productive:
Seems to me the Holy Spirit was working through all the encounters that took place. And if I hadn’t been willing to take a risk and share my spiritual ministry with a stranger who does not attend church – well the Wait would have been just a Wait and then go home.