So I’m newly involved with Kairos Prison Ministry
Kairos ministers to inmates and their families. Kairos Inside is a weekend that takes place inside a prison, Kairos Outside is a weekend for friends and family members of someone who is incarcerated. I’ll be working with Kairos Outside with women who have daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, etc… who are in prison. These people’s lives are dramatically affected when a loved one serves time, and often they are left to pick-up the pieces left behind, especially when it comes to custody of children. Although this is the first time I’ve ever been involved with it, I sense that the weekend retreat that happens in May is a very gentle and loving experience for the women. An incarnational ministry, Kairos leadership seeks to show them the love of Christ in practical ways in order to convey freedom in forgiveness and healing. I’ll be serving as one of the spiritual directors for the weekend, and that includes giving a talk and simply being available to listen, pray, and walk alongside women on this difficult journey.
I’m so attracted to prison ministry because I love being around people who are living every day face-to-face with awareness of their weaknesses. There is an authenticity and strength about that that I rarely see in most people. I was a volunteer for a Bible study at a local women’s prison for several years off-and-on, and I think I gained more from being around those women than they did from me! When I walked in the prison and saw the iron bars shut behind me, in a strange sense it was almost a relief to be around people who are so real. They can’t deny their failure, they can’t justify their sin, and they are usually very open with their heartache.
I learned vulnerability from them, and I received grace in my weaknesses from women who had no pretense or facade of success. They were very in-touch with their need of Christ, desperate for healing and mercy, and strong in their faith of a new life ahead of them. I had no problem confessing my own failures to them because I knew they wouldn’t judge. Churchy suburban women laughing and praying alongside incarcerated women….it was a beautiful picture of unity and the ways we need each other and truly are the same. I miss that.
Here is a video showing the men’s Kairos Inside