Today, I go back to the prisons; I carry two things. One, a poem for the juvenile women and two, the funeral papers for one of the juvenile men who's friend got shot two weeks ago. The victim's father and grandmother go to my church. His murder hit our church pretty hard as he was only 15. Both the inmate and I were pretty shocked that we had this boy's death in common. I felt a strong sense of God's presence as he and I talked about his death. It was a unique opportunity for both of us to share something very intimate with a person that is very different. What does a white girl from West Virginia who loves to draw have in common w/ a black guy from West Philly who is locked up for murder? As we worked on drawing portraits of each other and talked about Robert's death, our connection was pretty strong. I'm thankful to God that we met so that I can bring in these pictures of his friend from the outside. The juvenile said, "Two of my boys have been shot since I've been locked up. I feel like I'm hiding from death in here." He's 17.
Here's the poem:
At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
There came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
That, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
Like a low inspiration, do the next thing.
Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing.
Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
Leave all results, do the next thing.
Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering by thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance, be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons, do the next thing.