Day 326 Weird cards for my peeps…

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Today is Monday. Today, most of my day was spent creating some new and unusual art for my incarcerated peeps.
Today, I received an email and a call from two different people, who wanted to let me know, they would be filling bags for the homeless and keeping them in their cars. Well, that just makes me smile wide..😁
Today, my son received 3 magazines in the mail thanks to supporters out there. He is very grateful.😉 Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Please don’t forget to write an inmate. It is a really big deal for them. I try to imagine how some of them feel, especially the guys I write who have nobody. You know, I try to go there and I just dissolve into tears. I HAVE to be committed to writing them regularly.  No choice.  They are too important, too vulnerable, too alone.
I got a call today from a sweet woman who asked if she could give me money for my son and any other inmate I support. Wow. I’ve been really short financially and this was a blessing. Now a couple of guys can get something other than my weird cards..😁

Peace dear friends..want to know how to get past a problem? Focus on someone else and make his/her life a little more bearable..❤❤❤

 

Day 325 Don’t assume…

Today is Sunday. Recently, I looked into the eyes of a truly beautiful young woman. I have to admit, I was a little envious because I have never looked so lovely in my whole existence as this teen.
You would think she is probably one of the most popular girls at school. I remember when I was in school, I was fairly shy, definitely awkward around guys and I focused on being smart because I was not one of the “beautiful people.” I was bullied in school and I was beat up a few times. Bullying is not new. It’s been going on for a long time.
What I discovered today is that you can’t know what’s happening in young people’s lives until you spend some time listening to them.
I was forewarned that I would be meeting a young person who had been bullied and had attempted to end her life because of it. That made me cry inside. I waited to meet her and fashioned in my mind that she was probably a bit overweight and not necessarily attractive.
The young woman with the incredible eyes, beautiful face and gorgeous figure blew that picture from my brain. I was incredulous. I was stupid. I was angry. She was sweet, respectful and smiled easily when I complimented her. I learned very quickly not to jump to assumptions which I really try hard not to do.
How do you give someone your own courage? Sure, I used to go home and cry many nights after school. Sure, I was the butt of jokes and nasty whispers. Sure, others put gum in my hair and tacks on my chair. I wasn’t ever going to let them get the best of me, though.
I am who I am because of it. I think that’s why I have a big heart for the underdogs in this world. I want to make it all go away for her, but I can’t. She needs to know that she is beautiful and loved. She needs to know that there will always be bullies in this world but she can stand up to them. She needs to know that the world will be so much sadder and badder without her.
Short of going and taking a baseball bat to some of those bullies (I am not violent), I will do what I can to help her get through this.

My son was bullied once in his life and it happened to be in prison. He just punched the dude in the face. For weeks he felt really bad and ironically, the dude became a good friend. He has never had to take that kind of action again.

Take time to listen. Young people out there have some serious struggles. We see how unkind this world is, but we can be the life preservers for some people.

peace my friends…every day can be a challenge, eh?

Day 324 Fear or not….

Today is Saturday. Today, I just observed people and I noticed something. If one is motivated by fear, then one may act out in anger or remain silent and passive. I am not a fan of Facebook just for those reasons. I don’t want to see some people ranting and spewing hatred because they are afraid.

I was confused today.  Confused because and executive order came down to ban refugees and immigrants from a number of countries but the 9/11 terrorists, 15 out of the 19, came from a country the US gov’t sells arms to which produces terrorists, funds terrorists and practices crucifixion and beheadings.  The other 4 terrorists came from Egypt, Kuwait and Lebanon.   Do you see my confusion?  How are we being “protected?”

Today, I was encouraged because I saw a large number of people who have flooded airports and cities to proclaim that they are not afraid.

Remember this?:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)

I think about refugees drowning and children’s bodies washing up on the shore.  Maybe we can’t physically help those people; but, we surely can help the people in our sphere of influence.  We can be the life preserver for those who have lost their self esteem, those who have lost hope, those who have lost all their possessions, those who are alone, those who are different and feel like they don’t quite fit in.

Let’s not give into fear.  It keeps us from living, from loving, from making a difference in this world.

Matt was threatened once by a man with mental illness.  The man wanted to stab him in the throat with a pencil.  Matt was in a large cell with this man and had no where to go nor was a guard going to come to his aid.  Matt talked calmly and gently to the man.  The man happened to see a copy of the Newsweek article by Bethany Horne regarding my son’s torture ordeal.

This man began to cry to my son’s surprise and asked Matt to forgive him.  He then became a loyal supporter and body guard to Matt.  My son said he was not afraid to die.  After all, he had been tortured and honestly and sincerely believed his life was over.  He said he will always give others a chance because his life is not the only precious life.

Humanity is not a commodity.  Life is precious.  God help us all to be brave, compassionate and merciful.

 

peace my friends….:)

 

 

Day 323 Sharing Hearts

Today is Friday. Today, I met with a person who organizes projects for social justice initiatives. This year is affordable housing, alternative clinics for those with addiction problems instead of jail and recidivism.
I am considering being on the board of this organization.
It was really encouraging to speak with someone who believes all people regardless of status, race, gender or religion deserve to live safely, peacefully and able to take care of themselves and their families.
Today, I was thinking about Lauri Love and his new shelter for the homeless. His name fits him..:) What a noble endeavor.
I think if we could put some of our focus on those people doing noble things and encourage them, maybe others will get involved.
I spoke to my friend Tracey fom the UK tonight. She intervenes on behalf of those who are high risk and the homeless. She too is working to find housing for people and medical care for those who need it. I just love her heart. She is a natural counsellor and vulnerable people feel safe with her.
We all have gifts to share. The world is a lonely and painful place for many people.
Matt says you can see a person’s heart through his/her eyes. You just need to look into them and listen beyond the words.
There are lots of hearts out there that need to be seen and heard. How are you sharing yours?

❤Peace my friends..:)❤

Day 322 Don’t forget the little people in the storm.

Today is Thursday. Tonight was my turn to serve at our “Community Table”. Normally, I do some of the cooking and then help fill the trays. This time, I decided to pass out the trays and fill drinks. What an incredible blessing. Do you know how many people I got to hug?
Old people, young people, hard scrabble people, sad people, hungry people, and beautiful children. It was an incredible privilege to look into these peoples eyes and really see them.
Matt tells me that is who we are. We are the people who love and encourage others.
I got to push the cart with bowls of rainbow sherbet topped with a cookie around and hand out the sweet treats. OMG if the children didn’t didn’t squeal with delight. I was so pumped. I was pumped because even when you feel the world has gone mad and things look dark, the simple act of doing a kind thing for others helps you rise above and fills your heart with such love.
I want the people who are scared to know that there are those of us out there who love them.
So tonight, a hot bowl of soup, a roll, some fruit, some sherbet and a hug is what made so many people smile including me.

Be at peace..pray often..don’t lose your integrity, your compassion, your courage..I fear a storm is coming but don’t forget the little people.

Hugs and love..

Day 321 Not hopeless just overwhelmed

Today is Wednesday. Today, Matt told us about a seminar he had that addresses his release. I’m a little concerned because we live in a place for which we only have to pay utilities and I am without a job. The house is near a school. Matt’s garbage charges preclude us from living near a school.
Life is always a challenge. He needs a job and I am stressing a bit about that, too. No one hires “sex offenders” even if they are innocent.
I want to fix this but I don’t know how. I want to see my son achieve his dreams.
I am not hopeless, just overwhelmed and a bit weary.
But today, we will continue to think outside the box, explore ideas and try to keep moving forward.
I appreciate your prayers and thoughts as we try to deal with this ongoing injustice.

Peace my friends..❤❤❤

Day 320 Just Another Day For You and Me in Paradise

Today is Tuesday. Today I listened to a song by Phil Collins, hence part of the lyrics in my title.
I keep a gaIlon ziplock bag in my car filled with socks, hygienic items and food.
When I went to see Matt last weekend, on our way home, we stopped at a light and a young man appeared on the side of the road. He was homeless as indicated by a cardboard sign he was holding up. I called him over to the car and handed him the bag. He stood looking quite amazed and the thanked me humbly and sincerely.
It doesn’t take much to show people that you care about their circumstances. I buy a few items every time I buy groceries and I build up a box of supplies to fill several gallon bags.
If you are expecting the current administration to help out the homeless, the poor, the margenalized…don’t. It hasn’t happened in the past and it won’t happen considering the hard-heartedness and cruelty of most of these people. You have to get out there and help.
So, if you live in a city where the politicians have made laws that criminalize feeding the poor and homeless, will you go along with them?
If you are a Christian, read Matthew 25:35-40, then answer that question.

❤The video to this song is compelling..don’t be the one who makes people invisible..share your kindness..❤ Peace