This week, I have joined my clergy colleagues in the town of Chemainus to explore common ministry and concern. The week of study together allowed me to really get to know some of my colleagues for the first time since arriving in the Diocese last Thanksgiving. Our guide was our Bishop Logan, who encouraged us to open our eyes to the reality of our neighbours both near and far.
With this in mind, I was thinking of my friend who has been incarcerated as a "dangerous offender" in the Federal Detention Center on the mainland. My prayers for her are that she'll be able to find peace within her "busy" mind and to know how much God loves her--unconditionally, without reserve, and forever. We chat every week, and while some weeks are better than others, she struggles with the boredom of institutional life. One of the things that I am able to say to her that brings some comfort is that this community prays for her. You may not hear her name spoken, but God hears her name like an echo and a breath.
But there are so many other who live in "prisons" of different stripes, addiction, mental illness, but to name but two. Maybe we can't say all of the names out loud, but know for certain that God is holding them gently, and as we are able, let us remember them without judgment--only with love.