Standing in the Brightest Light
by Liberty Accetta.
was a privilege to be invited to come to the Indiana Women's Prison, the
oldest women's prison in the US.
an active volunteer, we helped out in numerous ways during the weeklong
Family week, where children get to be with their mother's, their aunts,
and grandmothers from 8-5 for a whole week. This is a very special week to
work toward for those who are incarcerated and desire to be with family
during this time. Normally, throughout the year, a minimum of 10 hours a
month is granted to these women. And that is a generous amount compared to
and Donnis (from the Sai Ma’s spiritual group, Humanity in Unity), invited
us. They have been part of this for the last seven years. This was the
first time that our two groups participated in this sacred family event.
Superintendent Ms. Blank is responsible for the humanity and love that has
altered this women's prison so profoundly. She graduated from Purdue
University, but wears no sign of superiority with these women. She has
given these women who are incarcerated their sense of worthiness back,
through emphasizing their own act of taking personal responsibility. These
women make crafts, dolls, and sleeping bags that go out to the whole world
to help those in need. Some of these sleeping bags have been sighted in
America in the streets and under overpasses being used by the homeless.
The dolls have gone as far as Africa to children who experienced their
love and their give.
This woman is at peace because she has found God
would never have known I would find a Teacher of God among these women.
And yet I found many. One woman, who is in a wheelchair, began talking to
me about everything being an ‘idea’, and expressed the same wavelength of
whole thinking that I have experienced through the Course in Miracles. And
yet she had never read that book. Yet. She simply told me she found God
while in prison. She was suffering until she began to notice young girls
who were in prison with her who could not tolerate any gestures of help
and were suffering mentally. She began to help these girls, discovering
they had been abused. She would rock them in a rocking chair and help them
to feel the experience of nurturing that they had never experienced in
their lives before. She was known as Grandma, and girls would come and
talk to her when they could not process their own thinking and needed
help. This woman is at peace because she has found God, through abandoning
her own story, and serving God right where she is. There are many who are
going back to school and have the support to renew and work toward
choosing once again what they want in their life.
Blank feels these women have already been down. And it
is her responsibility to see that women are nurtured. It is the nurturing
that helps these women nurture their children as they visit their moms.
This will help break the cycle that ensues upon members of incarcerated
individuals which repeats through generations. Most children of
incarcerated families experience ridicule and prejudice from their
neighbors and friends at school and need support to live through this
traumatic time. Love is always the answer. Its no wonder that as I walked
on this property of this particular prison in Indiana, that as I looked
up, I saw silver ribbons encircling these prison walls rather than
menacing barbed wire that always haunts the prisons I have seen before.
experienced the brightest light, and knew that a little willingness on my
part was being witness to God pouring into this event. As this whole event
opened with a prayer for these women and their children, every time they
said “God” in prayer, thunder boomed on that delightful rainy morning. And
during this week we so often had blessing rain to renew the atmosphere of
this most holy week. This was not a ‘doing’ at all.
As I left these grounds I experienced the greatest peace.
was my privilege to experience the integrity that is being given in and
through these women so that they pass this on to their children, in this
most trying time in the year 2003.
have heard numerous stories from volunteers that they experience the
greatest love and reward through service in prisons. We are not alone in
Eyes, My Tongue, My Hands, My Feet, Today Have But One Purpose; To Be
Given Christ To Use To Bless The World With Miracles.
Father, I give all that is mine today to Christ, to use in any way that
best will serve the purpose that I share with Him. Nothing is mine alone,
for He and I have joined in purpose. Thus has learning come almost to its
appointed end. A while I work with Him to serve His purpose. Then I lose
myself in my Identity, and recognize that Christ is but my Self.
Jesus’ A Course in Miracles ~ Lesson 353