Thursday, April 11, 2013

Convicts and Compassion

Yesterday was Tricia's birthday.

Tricia is my cousin, and right now she is in jail awaiting her trial in August. She has been accused of murdering her husband, a charge she has firmly and consistently declared is false. He was shot nine times, with a gun registered to her name, through his tent on a birthday camping trip.

I thought of her a hundred times yesterday.

I have no idea what it would be like to have a birthday in jail.

I have no idea what it would be like to miss my kids like that, to feel both excitement at seeing them for a visit and the sadness and self-loathing that comes from having them come see you in jail. In one of her letters, she told me she felt like no kid should ever have to come see their mom in jail. And that sucks.

I've been writing her about once a week. I know she loves getting letters, I know she is lonely. And honestly, there is not a whole lot more that I can do for her right now.

Except pray.

And I do pray, but sometimes it is so hard to know the right thing to pray for.

I think of the verse that I want to live my life by, Micah 6:8. It's why the subtitle of my blog says do justly, love mercy, walk humbly. It's based off the good old fashioned King James version that I grew up memorizing. But I recently looked at it in the Message, and it's translated like this:

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
    what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
    be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
    take God seriously.

The "love mercy" part in the KJV is rendered here as, "be compassionate and loyal in your love". This is what I am choosing to use as guidance for my prayers and actions.

In case you're wondering? I don't know if she did it. I am choosing to hope against hope that she did not. But even if she did, I love her. I feel deeply her loneliness, her sadness, her isolation from those she loves most. And I want her to know that she is still deeply loved, by me and by Jesus.

I am praying she will reach out to Him during this season of desperation and she will find He is an anchor that holds firm, a friend who will never forsake her, a love beyond her wildest imagination.

Pray with me, kind friends?

amy danielle

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. Remembering prisoners...that's a beautiful command of gospel love that most of us just..don't. I will pray with you right now, friend.


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