Letting the SON Shine Out
No, my title is not a typo! Our former pastor ended many services with the command, “Go into the mission field…and let the S-O-N shine out.” It was a reminder of our calling to be Christ to others. I recently remembered this admonition when told of a woman’s simple one person prison ministry.
As Helen (not her real name) told the story, she was in line at a state prison visitor center waiting to be processed for a visit with her husband. Suddenly a commotion developed with a visitor in front of her. The woman was being denied entry because the top under her coat was sleeveless. The woman suggested she would remove the top and just wear her light weight coat as a top. However this was not acceptable because it was a zipper coat which would need to be removed to get through the metal detector leaving her with only her bra.
The exchange went back and forth between the women and the corrections officer until a third women, we’ll call her Clara, walked up and said she had an extra sweatshirt in the car that she would give the woman. The corrections officer agreed this would solve the problem, so the two women left for the parking lot and the woman got to visit her incarcerated son.
Her One Person Ministry
After the visit, Helen went up to Clara and praised her act of kindness. Clara explained, once she was refused entry to the prison. The corrections officer had labeled her blouse a “tank top” and not acceptable because her cap sleeves exposed too much skin. Disappointed and without options, she left vowing this would never happen again to herself or anyone else on the day she visits. She went on explaining the extra sweatshirt was no accident. Now she keeps an assortment of large and extra large prison appropriate tops that she buys at Goodwill in her trunk for such events! She takes no money and just asks the recipient to do a favor for someone else. She told Helen it’s her little ministry. They waved and parted ways.
Isn’t that a great story? It’s such a wonderfully simple act of charity. Clara’s a one person prison ministry quietly doing what she can, when she can, with the resources at hand. My former pastor would be proud she lived the message and let the S-O-N shine out!