But a place in my heart lives with incarcerated folks where spring can be a bitter reminder that they either await a far distant day for release and reentry into the free world or, more challenging, have no expectation of ever walking in a park or along a stream or through the woods again in this life. They long for time with family and mark the days of the lives of their family living in a free world that goes on without them.
My grandmother used the term "arrow prayers" meaning she would draw an arrow pointing "up" on a card or piece of paper and post it where she would be reminded to pray for something or someone throughout the day. I think I'll do that today with an "arrow prayer sticky" on my kitchen window and patio door. As I look for the birds or check the trees for signs of budding or head out for a walk, I'll carry in my heart prayers. I'll pray for those longing for a renewal and a new hope, especially those behind bricks and mortar walls and those in personal prisons of addiction, isolation and loneliness.
Creator, God! Whisper hope to the hopeless and comfort to the sad and anxious and love to those who feel unlovely. Give them understanding of the new life that is available to them in You, and freedom from the old things. Convict them, Spirit of God, that this freedom is available even in times and places of physical, emotional and mental restraint. Wrap them in Your protecting love and pour out on them Your tender care and healing. AMEN
So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived! 2 Corinthians 5:17