OP-ED: Reaching Into Prisons

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By Richard Johnson, Folsom Prison

 

Those in prison are often ignored, dismissed and considered nonessential. We can find a number of reasons why this happens, and even some to support it.

 

But we should make sure that attention is given to the inmates and their needs.

 

Generally the longer that people are confined, the chances are their ties to the community become less solid. I’ve witnessed the deterioration of the mind and body, causing some people to become completely dysfunctional.

 

It’s been said that we create our own heaven or hell. To a certain degree this expression is true when applied to prisoners, me included, who are ill equipped at times to fully process all that comes with doing time under so many unnatural circumstances they’ve never experienced before.

 

It’s not commonplace for human beings to be held in bondage, buried in the abyss of misery. Yet, it’s an unavoidable truth that so many people of all walks of life find themselves in.

 

It would be very easy to just say, “they made their own beds, so let them lie in it.” But then the question arises, is this the Christian way, or for that matter, the way that man should treat his fellow man?

 

All life should be cherished. And communal care and concern should be extended to all prisoners, regardless of the severity of their sentences.

 

God sees everyone in the same light. Sin is sin. Thus, when we try to justify what is acceptable, we ultimately fall short because then we’re playing God. If one turns their back on people in need of spiritual guidance, then how can anyone profess to be God-loving Christians who care about humanity?

 

From childhood we’re taught to do what is right. But usually, we do just the opposite because it suits our individual desires and satisfies our self-centeredness, while quenching the thirst of Lucifer.

 

I was always taught to believe that no one should be left behind when it comes to helping others when possible. When we start distinguishing who deserves physical, moral or spiritual assistance, then what else will be neglected?

 

God and only God is empowered with the ability to perform miracles and make determinations as to the merits of goodwill that we must bestow upon one another as fellow people of faith, love and devotion.

 

It’s incumbent upon all who can, to reach into the prisons and offer aid to those incapable of helping themselves for whatever reason. I am not well versed in Christianity, or saintly proprieties, but I wholeheartedly subscribe to right over wrong.

 

The ability to embrace good over evil can be, at times, a barrier so steep that some may never be able to overcome. Nevertheless, all is possible with anyone who possesses a soul, a heart and a moral compass that comports with what is right.

 

Man is responsible for man, while God is the master of all. Reaching back is essential as loving one another.

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