Today there are approximately 2.7 million children with a mom or dad behind bars in this country. There’s no easy way to tell who these boys and girls are. They are all over the country, in busy cities and sleepy towns, in gated communities and run-down projects.
I had the privilege of performing a wedding last weekend. The bride is a godly young woman, and the groom is a fine young man and Jesus follower. As a couple they are a matching set. One can see how God has created them for each other and will use them mightily.
This coming Sunday we’ll celebrate all the moms in our lives – mothers, grandmothers, and special women who have loved us well and helped us become the people we are today.
Lately I’ve been thinking about moms in a unique circumstance – the ones behind bars.
When a person goes to prison, the whole family system suffers. It is normal for the family to cycle through a range of emotions and symptoms that include anxiety, depression, guilt, feeling lost or abandoned, anger or irritability, difficulty concentrating, poor attention span, and more.
Children of prisoners mourn the loss of their incarcerated parent. Some mourn the loss of the parent who was previously available to care for them. Others mourn the loss of the parent who “could have been,” if only the parent hadn’t made that mistake or hadn’t gotten caught.
God’s Word teaches us to serve those who are considered the “least of these” – These are the families of the incarcerated, struggling to survive in a world that seems to have turned against them.