Friday, January 6, 2017

PRISON LETTER | Unlike hot air, real help is tangible, concrete

A kind word goes a long way to help somebody out [Proverbs 16:24], but, sometimes, it's about as useful as a stiff wind on a cold day, especially to those in need, or in dire straits [James 2:16-17]. The difference is action (or lack thereof), and, that is borne of time and money. You can spend your time and money any way you please; but, the God-fearing, seeing an opportunity in the expenditure of those two commodities, choose to serve and please God with them wherever the opportunity presents itself.
Letter from Jose Jorge Andrade, which follows mine in Abandoned by family for a life behind bars

Hence, today's spending of the $50 I technically can't afford to spend (but had available) with GTL, the phone carrier that relays calls between inmates in the state of California and the outside world. It's not a collect call in the traditional sense; you have to establish an account, and then deposit funds prior to receiving any calls. You cannot initiate calls; but, you can screen them prior to acceptance. Generally, the minimum deposit is $100; that will probably buy you 30 minutes of talk-time, give or take.

Nonetheless, as unattractive of a purchase as I made it out to be, I'm not unhappy to have made it; after all, I eased the pain of isolation for at least two persons that have demonstrated a readiness and willingness to pursue a life as a Christian—two persons who also have, to a large and nearly complete degree, accomplished this.

More on that in my latest letter to Jose Jorge Andrade:

At the end, I request information on assisting Jose with restitution, per his request. The first believers made no bones about their awareness of the necessity of being a consequential help to would-be members of their church. It was never used as a lure, but as a way to fulfill the Great Commandment, and to form a bond with persons with which you expected to know for an eternity. My motivation and intentions are the same.