The Life Outside


The Mary Heart

Continued from the April 2017 Newsletter

to the Lord’s doing, and served as a vessel for God. She gave up her perceived purpose, to serve God and in the end, her sacrifice was met with the mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish of having her loved one taken away. Regardless of the promises God gave us, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, in the end, she was left behind … her son held captive.

Now, let me preface the following by saying this; I am NOT comparing the lives of family members of the incarcerated, to that of Mary. I am merely identifying a feeling, a situation if you will, where a loved one is left behind through no fault of their own, and the feelings that they might have. You see, when Jesus was arrested and imprisoned, it was in the wee hours of Friday morning. Mary awoke to the news that her son was arrested and facing trial. Mary immediately went to Him.  Her heart must have been broken. The feeling of it being torn from her chest: the pain of not being able to save her grown child from the suffering He is sure to endure. Yes, He is the Son of God, but He is also the little boy she raised. She remained by His side, but how helpless must she have felt? Mary grieved for Jesus (John 19:25-27). She lost her peace, that is, until He was released from His earthly bounds that Resurrection morning.

How many family members of the incarcerated, are left to feel as Mary did? Abandoned. Left behind. Their suffering continues each and every day their loved one remains behind bars: dealing with the uncertainties and situations outside of their own control.  As one who knows this feeling first hand, after much heartache and many tears due to yet another holiday spent separated, I manage to find joy and a renewed hope.  My Jesus is bigger than a prison sentence. Bigger than man’s suffering.  His grace is not limited by barbed wire, steel doors, glass walls, or shackles.  So while my heart may grieve a certain closeness to my loved one, I know that their is a higher purpose and greater plan which far surpasses my own understanding. His plan is to restore, heal, and deliver us all from all that binds us on earth.

As you sit with family, friends and others this Resurrection weekend, I invite you to consider the hearts of, and pray for, the ones “living on the outside” while praying for those behind bars. After all, this is not the end, just part of our journey.

A.R. Tack