Shining Stars

I have respect and admiration for men and women who are behind bars.

The prisoner lives in a confined environment, is thought of as less by much of society, and is treated as lowly and inferior much of the time…because, too often, that is the mentality…that he or she “deserves” the life (s)he has. Yes, indeed, I think it takes a very strong person to survive prison.

We all have insecurities. How often have you told yourself that you’re not good enough for something or someone? How many times have you looked in the mirror and not liked what you have seen? Can you imagine what it must be like to feel those kinds of feelings inwardly, and to also be told it by others on a daily basis? How greatly that must weigh a person down!

When you’re in prison, it seems to me that you’ve lost it all – job, family, friends, and self-respect. But, IF you can manage to pull yourself from that pit and not self-destruct, I think you then begin to rebuild. The prisoners I have met, either in person or on paper, seem to have learned to accept their fate. They seem to have come to a resolution about WHO they are now. And they seem to know where they are headed.

Just as with the mythic phoenix that rises from its ashes, they have realized their basest existence – and they have determined that there must be more. They have begun to accept themselves, along with their flaws. They have begun to see themselves as worthwhile, talented, beautiful, and strong. They are learning to see themselves as God has always seen them. They have begun to shine from within. Indeed, God does NOT make junk.

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The Prisoner's Prayer Book

Louise is author of The Prisoner's Prayer Book which evolved as she became a volunteer in prison ministry. Retired from a career in social services, Louise resides in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

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