Of course, we also have four sets of family traveling into town during the summer and that is delightful and adds to the action. We will be truly blessed to over the coming weeks.
But along with our joy will be an awareness of who won't be coming.There is nothing like a big family reunion to remind us those of have passed on. Some attending the reunion are very frail and each visit leaves us wondering if it will be the last. And because incarceration has kept family members separated from us in the past, a special place in my heart will ache for those facing legal proceedings and separated by incarceration.
That is how life is, some things we see immediately as blessings and some things that are seen as difficult and challenging. Most of the time life is a mixture of both things at the same time. Fortunately we are not alone in any circumstance.
Today, if you are separated from someone you love because of incarceration, know that you are loved, prayed for, and valued as the precious child of God that you are. Your loved one is valued and prayed for and beloved of God too.
Almighty God of Love, hold tenderly all who are today affected by the impending, present or past incarceration of a loved one. Woo persistently those who are incarcerated, those who care for them in prison from COs through administration staff to the wardens and prison boards. Let each and all be aware of the responsibilities inherent in their situations and positions and turn to You for strength to be wise and make right choices. Be with probation and parole officers and half-way house staff, employers willing to give them jobs and all seeking to teach new skills to help those seeking restoration to community and family. Thank you that you are the God of all of us, bless us wherever we touch lives that need healing. AMEN