Those Persistent Mothers

In the so-called Parable of the Persistent Widow, Jesus told his disciples a story to show them that they should always pray and not give up. In Luke 18, verse 4 and 5 we discover the judge’s thoughts, nowadays called ‘self-talk’:

For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’

There are very few similarities in this parable between a judge and a prison chaplain but the impact of a praying and persistent mother or grandmother on a judge and a chaplain seems to be the same…it gets them to act decisively!

In the past few months, we have received several phone calls and voice messages from mothers and grandmothers who requested the chaplain to reach out to a “lost or wayward” son who is incarcerated at Chester County Prison. With several hundred inmates to serve, it is very easy for those type of requests to be placed at the back of the To-Do List…EXCEPT… when there is another follow-up call, followed by another follow-up call, followed by another follow-up voice message, followed by a follow-up email, followed by…you get the point?

Each call and each voice message would often be drenched with sincerity, pleading and tears, clearly with no intention to exploit “the system” but displaying a desperate attempt to see God work in that soul…even in the “pig stay” of prison. To hear the heart-cry of these women melts any resolve to be methodical and for a “wait your turn” approach!

What a joy then to discover that God is at work, to hear the joy and weeping on the phone when a prodigal and the caring woman in his life finally connect and especially when the “culprit” responds to the Gospel.

I could give specific examples but for the sake of privacy and keeping this article short, I will refrain, but know this…Persistent prayer and persistent love do make “judges” act in unusual ways.

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