Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 9

I read on a recent Jewish entry that in old Judaic law, a person who stole from another was subject to becoming an indentured servant, treated honorably as a family member during the service, until the debt, plus interest, was re-payed. This raised the eyebrows of my husband who saw this as rewarding the wrongdoer. I do understand his resistance to sharing his resources with someone with such poor moral upbringing, but I also understand the value of taking one who has transgressed under one's absolute and compassionate authority to teach the ways of responsible community.

Herein lay my issues with religion and our penal system. We, in the United States, seem to be a bit schizophrenic in our way to address these issues. Because we don't want to enter any real discussions of what is best for our society, present and future, we tuck our criminals away out of our sight and hope that things will get better on their own.

I have a dear friend who works as the chef at a governor's mansion in the southern United States. The staff that serves the residents of the governor of their state is made up of potential parolees who were convicted of murders. My friend has trained many men to become productive citizens of our society through this program. She has very few employee issues because she can threaten them with being sent back to prison from their halfway houses. But, I don't think this threat is the secret to the success of this program, at least for those working with her. I think it is her genuine caring and compassion.

My friend has a huge heart for offering hospitality. Jesus would have loved having her as his official party planner and caterer. There is nobody unwelcome under her hospitality tent. Each of her employees is treated with a grand mix of humor and individual instruction. She also sets an example of how to succeed with her own work ethic.

This is how we bring up successful, compassionate children, but we cannot succeed when others are interfering with our "family" dynamics. A house divided against itself always fails. We must stop all the anonymous "charity" if we want to save souls. We must accept people who are sincerely wishing to be parented again as parts of our communities.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we begin to willingly re-parent with the strength of communities of The Sacred Spirit for those who have had no real parents and are ready to submit to community authority.

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