As part of my ministry I write letters of encouragement to prisoners in the MDOC. In each letter I include a spiritual meditation. It may be related to the upcoming holiday, season, or simply based on something I have either recently read or heard. These meditations always seek to encourage the faith of the reader. Frequent references to the Bible provide an opportunity for the reader to check it out for themselves. Many but not all of my letters are sent to Christians but find a wider audience among their circle of influence. It is not my intention to preach but rather to engage my readers with thoughtful insights, real-world experience, humor and compassion. I don’t claim to be a theologian but simply “a blind beggar telling another where they can find bread.”
The letters fall into two categories: newsletters sent to my mailing list or personal letters. Never underestimate the value that prisoners place on receiving mail. Nothing can brighten their day like a letter from a friend, even one they have never met in person. Like giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty man, a letter of encouragement can help someone who is feeling alone, depressed, or forgotten to know that they are not alone, that things can get better, and that they not forgotten.
What followers are excerpts from the letters that I have sent over the past few years. My intention is to maintain an ecumenical perspective since my readers come from a number of denominations and faith traditions. Most are brief, usually less than 500 words. I have also included a few transcripts of talks that I gave while I was serving time. The intent of posting these is to provide a glimpse into the spiritual dimension of prisoners lives.