June 30th, 2018
It’s been a long week, a very long week.
Karin and I are working hard to help a loved one re-enter society after a nearly eight month stretch in jail. We knew that this would be difficult. We had no illusions about that. I am not complaining (well, maybe I am). If the situation is challenging for Karin and myself, it is absolutely overwhelming for the young woman who is coming back into a world that doesn’t give a damn about her.
There is so much for everyone to do. The young woman needs so many things, and she needs most of them right away. She needs housing, transportation, work, medical care, and love. Mostly, she needs love.
Love is hard. This young woman is teaching me about what love truly is. It’s a bitch. It really is. Love requires sacrifice and honesty and compassion. Love, if it means anything, costs something. That “something” includes time, money, energy, and trust. It involves faith and courage, because there are no guarantees of material success. It’s a total crap shoot. If a person truly does something out of love, then they do it without any thought of repayment. There may be no “feel good” pay back. A person does it simply because it must be done.
In the course of this week, we have met with a probation officer. We have gone to a homeless shelter. We have been to the DMV and a sober living house, and I can’t even remember where else we have all been. The week’s activities are becoming a blur. We have made no plans for each day, because each day has been a whole new world. That is just how all this works.
I wonder how it is for somebody who gets out of jail, but has nobody to help. How does a person without support start a new life all alone? Is that person set up to fail?
A few people have offered to help us with our work. I am ever so grateful for that. A few people have told us that they will “raise us up in their prayers”, which sometimes translates to “okay, I don’t really have to get my hands dirty”. I know I sound cynical, but I might be right about this, at least once in a while. I actually do believe in the power of prayer. I just think that it should also manifest itself in a tangible way.
God, this is such a mess. It is also a grand adventure. Things might work out great. It might all end is disaster. I know that. We all know that. But we are going to try anyway. We are going to live and love and ride this crazy roller coaster.
Because it is the right thing to do.