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Day 168

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 -

I’ve mentioned in the past how God blesses me in small ways. Well, today I had a small blessing, to follow the big blessing I had yesterday. I’ll begin with the big blessing. There are two wonderful women Kathie and I have gone to church with for many years, named Linda and Kris. When I faced a two-week trial 10 hours away in Buffalo, New York, these two women took off work and left their families (as did a number of others for whom I’m also very grateful), to be there for a large part of my trial. They also went to Buffalo to be there as support at my sentencing 26 months ago.

But yesterday, they wanted to do something special for the two of us.

As a little backdrop, please understand, Kathie has been here to see me nearly every week during the past five months, except when she was sick with pneumonia. However, someone has always brought her, and the most time we’ve had “alone” together (in the midst of a loud visitation room filled with other visitors) was the hour or so our daughter Victoria and her family left us by ourselves one day months ago. I couldn’t think of a better description of Kathie than the way David Kekliklian began the letter I just received today: “How marvelous is your wife! Talking to her again refreshed my memory of her spiritual fragrance – as the essence of crushed rose.” I wish I had such a way with words! Well, in four days, we will have been married thirty-eight years, and until now the most we’ve ever been apart has been two nights! Please understand also, Kathie doesn’t like to drive, and has been having trouble with her vision which would have made it difficult to drive herself anyway!

Back to Linda and Kris’ selfless blessing for us -- they brought Kathie on Sunday night and a wonderful family not too far from the prison opened up their home for the three of them Sunday night. And the three of them were here at the prison a little after 8am the next morning (yesterday). They stayed a little over an hour, and then left us together for the rest of the day – alone! We got to spend more than 5 ½ hours all by ourselves! God bless you, Linda and Kris!

I came back from the visit a little after 3pm, however, and found out that the whole prison was on lock-down, and had been since early morning because 90% of the inmates were not going to meals as a protest against something I’m still not sure of. Well, I had eaten so much in the visitor room, I really didn’t care about going for supper, anyway. Two or three fellow inmates warned me not to go because it’d be kind of like crossing the picket line during a strike. So I didn’t.

So this morning, even though no one could give me a precise reason for such a protest, I prayed the Lord would show me want He wanted me to do. Some of the things brought up to me is that it is just the treatment we are getting. Yesterday, they told us they were removing our ability to go straight to the recreation yard from the “chow hall,” which was apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back. In the past year, they’ve taken away our pillows, our trash cans, and more recently, our microwaves.

Well, I didn’t go to lunch, but then, after lunch, at 11:35, they surprisingly called a “rec move,” and I hurriedly put on my shoes and went outside to do my 2 ½ miles around the track. I was so unexpectedly able to enjoy it, that I decided to go to supper, even though it was my least favorite meal. It was pork barbecue, but I can’t stand the barbecue sauce they use. How wonderful it was when I sat down to eat, that there was very little sauce, and my meat wasn’t chopped and mixed in the sauce as usual. It was one huge chunk of pork butt, which I actually savored! I praised the Lord for giving me this special treat! It’s one of many little things God sends my way, for which I can give Him all the praise and glory!

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