“What church you attend on the street?”
He asked me. Here I was, attending his church,
Visiting with a ministry to inmates, sheepishly I
admitted, I don’t go to any church right now.
“Oh, well I get that, I never went either, til I
found these people. They showed me compassion
they really cared; I speak to people all over the state
now, to kids, everybody, about my experiences…
you’ll figure it out” his face smiling, clear sincere eyes
looking right into my soul… he was ministering to me.
I don’t know what he did, 30 years ago to end up at Angola
incarcerated for life, didn’t ask, he’d of told me, like he told
me how he had found a spiritual life, was one of the first to take
D O C class, before they had the seminary school there.
Told me how Mr. DeGravelles had shown him real love
that’s why he became an Episcopalian and got confirmed.
And me, a visitor here, why do I feel like this, never expected to.
Is it because these men, yeah maybe I am seeing only the trustees,
the ones who were good enough after ten years or so, to earn the
right to come to church, or speak to people on the outside, to
make leather goods, jewelry, rocking chairs, train horses
to volunteer in the hospice program, caring for the dying among them,
is it because these men have really found God? In this life of theirs
without hope, have they found it in Christ? Am I seeing God in them?
It sure does look that way to me. This confuses my cynical self, but I
plan to investigate more. “You comin’ to the banquet? Aw yeah, you need
to come. Lotta food, refreshment, fellowship. Bring yo’ husband, yeah
bring yo’ husband.” Of course I’m comin’.