Back in 2018, Rev Canon Sandra Miller wrote:
‘It’s not easy being a childless, motherless vicar at this time of year. It can feel very lonely. There is a sense that everyone else is with someone they love or who loves them. But there are many others who feel mixed emotions on the day, or simply want to avoid it’.
I am sure that she never expected that, over the last year, we would all feel that loneliness and disconnection from our loved ones everyday due to a pandemic, not just on Mothering Sunday.
I think we all now have a small understanding of what it must be like to be isolated, like those who find themselves in prison.
Many young adults in our prisons have spent nearly all of the past year locked up in their cells. They have had little opportunity to exercise, do any work, receive education, or mix with others. Neither have they been able to see their loved ones. How lonely, frustrated and cut off they must feel in their cells.
The psalmist David writes:
This speaks of God as a person everywhere, present in creation yet different from creation. God is everywhere and stays connected to us, regardless of the situation we find ourselves in. He cares about the big and small things – and He is right in the midst of them.
In the letters I read every day from our Letter Link programme, I see the care and concern in the words written to and from those in prison; the checking in with one another through this Covid-19 season. Some recent letters have talked about missing their mums and the impact these special people had on their lives.
Angel Tree Mother’s Day was piloted in 2011 to support the young people in offender units. For the last ten years, it has been helping the family relationships between a mother or significant female carer and a young person in prison. It’s such a lovely way to send a little something to say “I care, I value you and thank you.”
We can do all this daily (not just on significant days), caring for one another, being God’s hands and feet – demonstrating His love in action that surrounds us and never leaves us.
Joanna Perkins is PF’s Programmes Administrator.
Download the March Prayer Diary, with a prompt each day for how we can pray for our prisons and our ministries.
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