Encouragement from Outside the Wall

Poetry by Jacqueline Jackson

As I Think About…Thank You for Being Such a Hero

As I think about the way that you care for those in your custody regardless of their deeds or actions toward you, I am grateful to know that if I were to ever position myself in the same way that others have, you would care for me with the same respect and professionalism. This is truly admirable and worthy of honor. Thank you for being such a hero.

As I think about those you have advised not to pass this way again and given instruction to, I am moved by your investment in others and your concern for them and their future, despite their disregard for you. So many need the words of surety you offer. You are a picture of Christ to them and to me. This is worthy of applause and gratitude. Thank you for being such a hero.

As I think about a man in our city that has a little daughter who knows that her daddy only gets sober when he goes to jail, I’m thankful he has a keeper who demonstrates the truth to him. Thank you for keeping him in as he is positioned for repentance with an opportunity to change before he goes home again. While he’s with you, he cannot come at his daughter in a drunken rage. She receives the sweetest letters while he is in jail and he talks to her so kindly on the phone. She may not know to express her thanks to you, but I do. Thank you for being such a hero.

As I think about the subject who tried to choke you, I marvel at the recovery and endurance God has given you and how you continue to treat the subject with dignity, serve him his food, give him clean clothes, and pray for his success. It is your humble service from day to day and a lesson to us all. Thank you for being such a hero.

As I think about the mom in our county that had the opportunity to get sober for the last month while in your custody, I recall that she’s been to jail countless times before. I wonder how you keep from growing cold and loosing hope in all humanity. I’m so sorry I haven’t thought more about what you face. Your patience with me concerning my disregard for you is as moving as your thoughtful treatment of her as she undergoes detox once again. I respect you greatly. Thank you for being such a hero.

As I think about the gang members on the street that get brought into your custody, I consider the extra element of uncertainty, pressure, and danger this brings to your work and the need for discernment as you decide where new arrivals belong. I know God can help you understand the symbolism of the markings you must scrutinize, give you wisdom to see past the lies, and prompt you with the perfect question to break their sworn silence. I appreciate your diligence. Thank you for being such a hero.

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