Prison Diary: Our Friday Series for 2017

Over the last couple years I've done briefer, thematic posts on Fridays. I've blogged through the Rule of St. Benedict. We've revisited posts from interesting search terms that brought people to the blog. And last year I shared personal, Facebook-like posts.

So what to do on Fridays in 2017?

I get a lot of emails and requests to write more about Monday nights out at the prison. As regular readers know, every Monday night I teach a bible class for about 50 inmates at the French-Robertson maximum-security unit. I've shared a lot of stories from the prison bible study here on the blog. And "the Men in White" (inmates in Texas where all white shirts and pants) feature prominently in Reviving Old Scratch. In fact, I dedicated the book to the Men in White, along with my brothers and sisters at Freedom Fellowship.

French-Robertson Unit
Because of these stories, people want to hear more about the prison bible study. But truth be told, it's not like anything particularly profound happens every week during the study. I can't fill Fridays with amazing stories from the prison.

But honestly, I really don't think that's the best way to view the work out at the prison, or any ministry.

I've come to see the prison bible study as a practice of simple fidelity. The magic is found in simply showing up. Week after week, year after year.

It's hard and often tedious. You're frequently tired and have other things to do. It takes discipline, commitment and sacrifice. It's a marathon, not a spirit. You just keep showing up. Every Monday you show up and light a candle in the darkness. 

On the surface, the fidelity of simply showing up looks small and boring. But I've come to see it as powerful and as revolutionary as a mustard seed, to use Jesus' way of describing the kingdom of God.

So while showing up each week to teach the bible class won't fill Fridays with powerful, earth-shattering stories, it does make great material for a diary entry, a note or observation about what happened that week.

So that's what we are going to do on Fridays in 2017.

On Fridays I'll be sharing short, diary-like entries about what happens each week on Monday nights out at the prison.

I hope you'll join me.

And blessings be upon you, friends. Wherever you are and wherever you go, keep showing up and lighting your candles.

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