Work, an illness, and even the weather took a turn for the better this week. A long awaited doctor’s appointment sent me home with medicine healing an infection I didn’t know I had. Then at my job, a part of the equipment I put together turned out to be faulty, (removing doubt cast on my efforts). I heard a woodpecker one morning and the sun’s been making more appearances. God went all out. Circumstances may shift again, but for now, joy surfaced in the everyday – even when I’m not in the jail.
Wednesday the other leaders taught on forgiveness and, when I went to check in with one woman after, she and her fellow inmate thought God spoke to a situation they struggled with from the first word that came out of the volunteer’s mouth that affected the block. By the end of our three hours, two inmates that might have gotten into a fight, hugged. It was a powerful night.
Before I went to that class, I was chasing down some glasses for another woman who is nearly legally blind. I found out I needed more than her perscription. Because it was so severe, I also needed her pupil distance. The jail chaplain had mentioned they got glasses for the inmates at the orientation, so before – at the front part where they screen you before entering, I asked the guard about it, hoping to find out how to get an eye doctor to visit and measure her pupil distance. The guard said that the glasses the jail gave out were the cheap kind – like reading glasses. Plastic things that you can find at a drug store.
After some sleuthing, I got it. Tomorrow I am hoping with that PD number and the script, they’ll fill it. The woman suffers from bad headaches, undestandably. She didn’t ask me to do this, I was working with her and noticed she squinted a lot. She would leave a session early and apologize about the headaches and finally told me what it was.
When I called one of the eye doctors about the PD, they asked me for her birthday, so I called her mom, who, (to her credit), gave me the perscription, for it – that is her daughter’s birthday. The mother didn’t quite remember at first – but then told me, (correctly), explaining she was thinking of her other daughter, (a younger one.)
I hung up the phone and sat quiet for a minute.
The mentality towards the inmates, and this they earned, is that they are all cons. A lot are. It looks obvious to me when that starts to happen though and it is easier for me to dismiss because it is always coupled with self-pity, (which I am prone to and hate in myself.)
There’s something else though that people don’t usually see but anyone who has done this kind of work knows. They are spiritually starving and long to confess their faults, which are more acute because they can’t be hidden. The life story the inmate who needed the glasses told me rang very true in the pause her mother made and the comment that followed.
God’s treasure map to joy has all these little stops to pay attention to. I have to press on finding the pupil distance, writing out the 8th step lists and Sunday School ideas at home, rebuilding a module at work until its right and somewhere in between, this marvelous God full of surprises reveals love, a message from several directions so I can’t deny it is Him. Rejection and disappointment in my own heart got healed when I hung up that phone.
It makes me wonder what new next thing He’s about.