This winter has been very brutal as far as the damage incurred from the ice and snow. So many trees have had their limbs come crashing to the ground from the weight of the elements. Wires have snapped because of the incredible amount of ice that had formed during the past storms. Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were without power for up to weeks instead of hours or days. I would say that is very brutal.
The cleanup from the storms is very dramatic, in that trees are cut up to be hauled away and wires are restrung on the poles, some of which that had been replaced. All of this is at a great expense to families and communities alike. If there had been some fore thought to trim overhanging branches away from wires and prune branches that are just too long and large for the tree trunks to support, much of the damage could have been avoided. After the storms damage had occurred much of this comes to light, but there is still a long period of repair that needs to happen.
So is the parallel of our life experience. Severe storms may hit at any moment to reveal that our own branches and wires are not strong enough to carry the load and peoples’ lives come crashing to the ground. The branches may be the arms of life that are stretched way too far and the wire could be our system within, overloaded by work, drugs, alcohol, lust, anxiety or any other life controlling problem. When people crash and burn from the overload of life this too comes at a great expense to families and communities alike.
There are many people currently incarcerated as a result of not being prepared for the storms of life and they have no idea of how to repair the damage that had occurred from the storms. As Chaplains we are in the repair and renewal business of broken lives as well as being life coaches for change or pruning [John 15:1-8]. We teach from the Bible instructions for living to help people avoid making the same mistakes again. Jesus is always available as the husbandman of his creation, able to heal the damaged and strengthen the weak. This is the message of hope for those who had fallen and the hope for those who may fall. I believe that the families and communities of the incarcerated will be able to welcome them back as the new and improved members of society, pruned and rewired ready to face any new storms with the strength of Christ and the control of the Holy Spirit. I pray that you see our county Prison not as a warehouse for people, but as a sanctuary of souls being healed and headed for higher ground. Thank you for your support toward the storm damage of human lives.
Blessings, Chaplain Peter