The Gross National Debt

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Damn the rules

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Tonight I needed my buddy Doc, not just for wisdom and the soul he has, but because he is Doc. If you know Doc, by the end of the post, you'll understand. If you don't know Doc, by the end of this, you'll still understand. Tonight, I was a rebel, again.

As I left prison, an announcement came over the intercom: "tell the preacher to wait."

"What'd I do?" I ask, out loud, immediately running over everything I'd done since setting foot inside gate 1.

Down the hall comes an officer with an inmate behind. The inmate is obviously in distress.

I think he wasn't in church. Couldn't have done anything to him.

Guard said something I didn't understand and asked me to speak to the young man, young enough to be my son.

Of course, I immediately agreed.

"Son," I said. "What's wrong?"

Through a flood of tears, he said his 8 YOA niece died this evening in a car wreck. Mom died not too long along.

I talked with him. Then, knowing the prison rules say don't do this, I grabbed him and held him tight as he cried on my shoulder. By the time he released me, we'd prayed and talked and I gave what comfort I could. He let go of me. I didn't let go of him.
My shoulder was wet as I left the prison. The tears shed there in the lobby were not all his either.

Her name is Ashley.

What broke him up more than anything is he cannot be with the rest of his family in this time of need.

Sometimes, we all need someone to hug us and not let go until we do. I can think of fewer situations more tragic than not being able to get that hug when you need it.

Sometimes rules are made to be broken. Damn the rules.

Do Doc and me a favor. Hug somebody who needs it.

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