Routine Visit – Ha!
Routine visit to the Prison today! Haha on me! Did I tell you my prayer regarding my visits to prison often where I discover I am more a student than a teacher. And the normal prayer for me is this: “What do you have in mind for me today Lord”?
Start with Prayer – Heck the Whole thing is a Prayer:
Hope I don’t disappoint!!! Yep, I go to Mass, am entrusted with the Eucharist and quickly on my way via my (truck) chapel where I pray all the way! Not possible some say!!! Have ya ever ridden in my truck with me?
Yes mam! I get to prison on time. Oh my the main gate scanner isn’t working! Rummage through my carry in clear see through pack is quickly completed.
Deeper and Deeper:
Walk through the next 5 locked gates and encounter two of my boys (haha on me they are inmates in for life)!! What the heck is going on? Met almost immediately met by the Chaplin – taken aside – not normal! Escorted out of the room and trying to ask questions as we walk fast! Holy Smokes – that room almost packed with inmates are – are – are – the Chaplin told me = they are ALL Lifers! Something new I have never encountered to date. Hmmm – you talken to me Lord?!
On to the next building – am told wait here while I check for a room! In library I see uniformed individuals sitting across from an inmate! Then Holy Smokes here come a bunch of lifers from the first room I passed headed straight into my space. How do I know? One of them is the first inmate I introduced you to last week who was the first encountered years ago when I first began. He comes and stands right next me.
Finally I begin to get the drift of what is taking place! Yep the Good Lord has something to remind me about today. Now my old friend! Yikes did I just write a lifer inmate if my old friend! Whew – another reminder – long ago I called – er – perhaps better said “SENT” to be taught by an unseen advocate – maybe I should call this spirit my tail gate defender who covers my back!
Have I lost you yet? My old friend tells me. I remind you he is standing there right at my side – he informs me he is waiting to be interviewed regarding his potential parole!
Life’s Roller Coaster Ride:
Have you ever been on a roller coaster! You know up up up the hill followed by oh my — my stomachs — am I gonna lose it’s contents as the roller coaster’s bottom falls accelerating downhill! Do you get the drift of the intensity of the moment? My old friend asks me to pray for him – he is sweating what words he need to use????? The the silent “HELP” is heard!!!!!!!!! Lord Have Mercy! Intense – stress – I can’t run away – I can’t hide – I must hang tough! What do I say???
Flash back – here we go again! Maybe some of you have heard that the air traffic controllers job is one of the most stressful job that exists! Some experts have said so. I myself spent some serious time in the world’s busiest Air Traffic Facilities! I have watched unbelievable things happen to air traffic controllers in seconds. Don’t recall I ever told this you learn but don’t talk about! Here it is!
Haha you gonna have ta wait! Best I can do to replicate a roller coaster ride. Recently I heard a very high level Catholic clergyman state that Jesus called his disciples to be shepherds. Shepherd – not a word to be lightly understood! And to be an effective shepherd, one must spend some serious very close encounter quality time among the sheep – yes – so much so that the shepherd takes on the smell of the sheep.
I sure hope this analogy works! Did you know the body of an air traffic controller develops stress related bad breath until eventually the body adapts to the pressure cooker! Yes I learned I know the smell of stress! Chicago O’Hare 1970’s. Unexpected flashback for an old man in May 2023. Yes that is just part of what the good Lord had in mind for me today!
Summary: Man that roller coaster ride can be gruesome as ones hopes, dreams and emotions wrap there arms around ones soul.
What do I do? Oh What do I do? – Suffering – Preparation in Hiding:
So what does one say??? You have been preparing for this day 35 + years. What’s most essential is your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and the Advocate! Breathe out and then when you breathe in – suck in the Holy Spirit hidden in the cross named hurry up and wait! You are more ready more than you know! Have faith and trust in the spirit planted within “in the beginning” knowing no matter that no matter the outcome your standing in the exactly the right check out lane!
Then I was lead to the furthest part of the prison where I have never been before! Waiting alone – waiting for what?
to be continued ……..