My thoughts (Kristin Herrmann):
I thank my God every time I remember you…
A friend recommended this scripture for me to ponder, as it is one of her favorites that she writes in greeting cards to her friends. Not familiar with the scripture, I referred to my Bible later that night, hoping that I too would find myself being called to reflect on the friendships I value.
Instead, I found myself thinking about “Shannon”, an offender at the prison where I work. Shannon’s children are in the foster care system, and I had facilitated a telephone call on her behalf to her caseworker. When I received Shannon’s second request for a telephone call, I didn’t facilitate the call as quickly as she wanted, and she filed a complaint against me.
I was insulted by the complaint, but I did place the call within a couple of days. When I was alone in my office and called the caseworker to set up the second phone conference, I made a snippy comment about the complaint. The caseworker and I agreed that Shannon’s attitude was inappropriately demanding.
At this point, all I knew about Shannon was what I have shared with you so far. So perhaps you’ll understand my regret when I, a stranger, sat in the room while Shannon made her phone call about losing her parental rights. Perhaps you’ll understand my shame as I handed her a box of thin, state-issued tissues for her to wipe her tears, tears large enough that they rolled down her cheek and the telephone receiver onto my desk.
If only I’d read and understood this scripture before passing judgment on one I knew so little about! My judgment was the opposite of the thanks spoken about in today’s scripture.
Thought for the day: Who is a challenge for me to embrace? How can I begin to embrace this person so that I can give thanks for all as God wants me to?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.