Edwina, a young woman I met while I was a chaplain, is in juvenile hall on charges of murder. She is 15 and a mother, and she says she acted in self-defense against the beating being inflicted on her by the father of her baby.
Edwina is a Christian. She taught me, her chaplain, more about faith and hope and liberation than all my courses in theology had. Edwina’s word to me was that God frees the captive even within the very bars that lock her inside prison walls.
She spoke to me of the freedom in her heart to praise God in the face of injustice and oppression. She transformed by ministry to one of hope and confidence through the presence and power of the risen Christ in the midst of despair and oppression.
This reflection is adapted from a portion of Called to Prison, a resource in the Risky Business: Choosing Change series published by Women of the ELCA in 1999. It is based on the words of Anne Tracy Carlson. Today we remember James of Jerusalem, martyr, who died around 62.
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