As I walked into church this Christmas season, there hung the tree of Christmas Angels to help those families in need. I would normally just grab an Angel in hopes to bring some joy to a boy or girl. I have always enjoyed being part of this gift giving, but did I really reflect on what it truly meant. These pieces of paper are not merely pieces of paper on a Christmas Tree; they are families who need us. This time, the Angel had a reflection and the reflection was my family. For the first time, my Angel had a face.
No present can ever take the place of my daughter having her father home for Christmas or change what has happened, but what I am starting to see a little at a time is that there are many who want to help and put their judgments aside to bring some joy and peace to those that find themselves without it. Not one person who picks up their Angel from the tree ever judges that boy and girl for what is going on in their life. They pick a family out of unconditional love. During this Christmas and holiday season, it is a beautiful time to reflect on what it is all about. A precious child was born unto all of us, even those in prison, to be the Savior for all mankind. He was born unto sinners. He was born unto those who need his grace and forgiveness. No one is ever truly worthy of such honor by a Savior, but that is what makes it so wonderful. He loves each and every one of us; every failure, every sacrifice, every bright light that shines within Him. He is Goodness and Glory. His is Merciful. I ask that each and every person that looks at this blog ask yourself what is the true meaning of Christmas and this holiday season. Can you forgive? Can you lend a hand to a family less fortunate who has a parent incarcerated? Can you believe that people are forgiven because Jesus Christ was born for all of us? What a wonderful time to reflect and realize what matters to us all in this world. We are all connected in some way.
As every day passes, one step at a time, I find myself able to come out of this shadow I have been hiding behind. As hard as this journey is and continues to be, I will keep on my journey with one of hope just as the Wisemen did on their journey following the Star of Bethlehem. Please consider those innocent spouses and children who are without this holiday season because of an incarceration and what we can do together to help, and to stop over incarceration so that children can have their father’s home for Christmas.
God Bless you this holiday season and let us all be thankful for the true meaning of Christmas.
Lynn Springer, Advocate, Innocent Spouses & Children
George Bresnan, Advocate, Ex-Pats
Michael Karaffa, Advocate, Disabilities
Comments from Social Media:
All I want for Christmas/Chanukah
By Reentry Survivor Barry S. Diamond, Founder of reentrysurvivors.com
All I want is:
To be accepted for my good deeds not my past actions
To laugh with friends at the silly things in life
To worship with my fellow human beings
To enjoy my children & their families & wish them all the best
Sounds pretty normal doesn’t it?
Well that’s what all of us released from incarceration want, to be normal again
Those of you who have helped us, thank you
Those of you who haven’t, please remember G’d forgives
So why can’t you?
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