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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Religion | 3 comments

Things That Matter: the Compassionate Jail Guard


NOTE: This is a new series I’ll be doing on Things That Matter – the nonpolitical aspects of life.

It was Sunday morning when I visited a jail in San Diego County to see a young person in there for a dumb probation violation that he acknowledges as such. This was not a “hard” lockup for hardened prisoners but a jail. I was there with his step dad who loves him very much. They bring all of the inmates whose relatives signed up for visit out and they sit in a yard with their family to talk for a bit.

After the visit was over we headed to the exit gate and the guard at the door said to us: “Thank you for coming.”

And I said, “Thank you.”

And he said, “It’s good for them to see that there are people who care enough to come out to see them.”

And I said, “That’s very nice of you to say that.”

And this guard then said: “They’re people, just like you and me, and they made a mistake. They made a mistake and they’re here. There are lots of people who’ve made mistakes and haven’t been caught yet.”

I said: “How did you find out about me?”

And he said, “I’ve made mistakes in my life too. Thanks for coming.”

THAT is what I call a dispay of spirit…that “spark”…from someone who gets it.

He made my day — or, rather decade.

And how lucky those mostly young inmates are to have someone so thoughtful in authority in their midst.

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