This letting go is so much more complicated: There’s a man sitting in prison, waiting for our Prison Fellowship committee to raise the money to pay his legal costs so he might appeal his life sentence. “Sorry,” we have to tell him. “You’ll just have to keep on being patient.” (He’s been in jail for something he didn’t do for 23 years.) There’s a loss of momentum by deciding to postpone—definitely a handicap when confronting that monolith known as the criminal justice system. There’s my innate fear that by giving in to weather conditions and no parking and the rest of the complications due to these back-to-back storms, what we’re really saying is: This prison work is too hard.
Yes, it is hard. But, I believe, it’s also what I’m being asked to do. And I know the others on the committee believe so, too.
So, we’ll reluctantly accept what we cannot change (some key speakers were not going to be able to make it, either.). And regroup.
* [What is the Prison Fellowship Committee? We are a committee of Friends Meeting at Cambridge (MA) doing prison ministry. Committee members visit prisons and work for better prison conditions. We take families to visit family members in prison and we visit individual prisoners ourselves. Every Wednesday evening, we offer a meal and sharing circle for the formerly incarcerated and those who care about them. We have raised funds for bail or legal costs; the recipients are those in need whom individual members of our committee have met through our prison work. We do this work because we can and because we are unable to stand by and not take action when we see so many suffering unfairly.]