Once he became incarcerated in a state prison, I learned much about St. Paul's directive to pray without ceasing*. It was actually not the scariest time for me since I found an odd sort of comfort that if he died, someone would at least call to tell me. I thought of him when I awoke in the morning, as I did simple daily tasks I knew he would prefer over his prison days and I thought of him as I turned to sleep at the end of day.
So when it came to writing to him, i spoke of hope for the future and gave him family news. But I was most committed to writing to him about things that had been important to me in growing in maturity and judgement, and most importantly, in faith.
Many years ago when I was divorced after more than a decade, single mother of three children whose care I committed to their blessed and loving grandparents until I could provide basic food and shelter for them, I did what I learned to do at my mother's feet...go to the library or bookstore. I was looking for information, inspiration and wisdom to shed light on my situation. There was much that was helpful, but the thing I longed for most at that time was nowhere I could find. I wanted a book on how to put on the whole armor of God. I felt utterly vulnerable, confused and lost. But I believed that the deepest answers lay in renewing my relationship with God. It was many years before I ever saw a book on this subject, but slowly God taught me in fine and often painful detail how to find a more powerful relationship with Him.
These were the lessons I long to pass on to all my children and grandchildren, but for my youngest child, incarcerated hundreds of miles away, it became the deepest desire of my heart that God might use me and/or others to throw him a lifeline from God.
In the coming days we will take a look at some of the ideas I shared with him and my prayers for him.
* 1 Thessalonians 5:17-27