At Pulpit Rock, we value courageous vulnerability. Our hope is that we can offer you a safe place to be you. As you are. We want to be a place where there’s no need to pretend you have it all together. A place where you can heal from your wounds. Vulnerability is scary, and we applaud it. Here’s another courageously vulnerable story on love from one of our own.
A few weeks ago I appeared in court to deal with some custody issues with my ex-husband. Long story short, when all was said in done, I was led away in handcuffs for keeping the kids from him during his parenting time when I deemed his activity to be unsafe. That’s called contempt of court, and I was sentenced to 48 hours for the 48 hours I kept the kids against the decree.
I have never been to jail before. I have never been arrested before. I have never had a speeding ticket before. And suddenly I found myself being taken to the Criminal Justice Center, exchanging my Ann Taylor clothes and leather ankle boots for scrubs stamped with El Paso County Jail, and locked in a 9×13 cell.
But here’s what I learned…
Love meant my cellmate teaching me how to knot my sheets to make a fitted sheet out of a flat sheet, and how to fold my sleeping mat to create a makeshift pillow.
Love meant sharing my dinner with others, because my soul needed friendship and understanding way more than it needed meat mush and a lump of dough.
Love meant letting random women braid my hair for me, because ponytail holders were not allowed in our unit, and graciously accepting their gesture of love even though I thought it was waaaaay creepy.
Love meant making people laugh, and laughing when they tried to cheer me up,
Love meant other inmates sliding paperback novels to me, behind the deputy’s back while we were all on ‘lockdown’ on our bunks, when I was caught without anything to pass the time.
Love meant a hot shower. Even if I had to push the button every 2 minutes to keep the water going.
Love meant deputies running a tight, but fair, ship — keeping all of us safe.
Love meant walking away from the fear that I felt, and being courageous enough to sit down and listen to what somebody else had to say.
Love meant having to exhale the anger I felt about my own situation.
Love meant having the perspective that I was only in for 48 hours, while some of these women were serving YEARS behind bars.
Love meant gratitude for the fact that I have never personally had an addiction, and empathy for those who do.
Love meant looking in to the eyes of these women and realizing that, in our matching scratchy-scrub-type-uniforms, I am no better or worse.
Last week we were challenged to break bread with those we might not usually dine with. Maybe next time God won’t teach me the lesson in such a literal way.
Written by a member of Pulpit Rock Church who wished to remain anonymous.
Do you have a story of how you are learning what love requires? We’d love to hear it.