Today began with a four mile walk in 55 minutes. My legs pick up the pace when the temperature falls below freezing, as it did for the first time this fall. The day is ending now as I watch the vice-presidential debate, or at least half watch the debate.
The most significant thing I did today was go up to Ypsilanti to visit a parishioner at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility. She was jailed for habitual drunk driving. I took her father with me. He no longer drives out of Adrian. His parents were born in Lebanon. He speaks Arabic and loves to cook Lebanese food. His daughter is learning day by day to reach for the Bible instead of the bottle. She asked me to send her a study Bible via Amazon. She wants to start a prison ministry when she completes her time next year. We sat in a large, open area, surrounded by other women inmates and their visitors. All the women wear black leather shoes and white socks. They must always wear socks. They can never go barefoot (except when showering); it’s against the rules.
As we talked, I mentally linked her to the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ bare feet with her tears in today’s Gospel reading (Lk 7:36-50). She found a depth of grace the righteous Pharisee could not grasp. I hope my parishioner has found a similar grace. Grace bubbles up in unexpected places, and often in the lives of people whom others look down on.