Chestnuts with leaves

I think as I write this of a man who is leaving prison to return to the world. During these years he has paid more attention to religion than ever before in his life. As he leaves, the prison chaplain assures him that the past is done, the past is forgiven. But when he returns to the world, he finds that the world has not forgiven, that it has not forgotten his past. So hope changes to despair, faith to doubt. It seems that God has not forgiven him after all. It is here that a great duty falls upon us all, to be the bearers of God’s forgiveness, to be the instrument of his love, to be active in compassion. This man’s return to the world is made tragic because we were not there. God moves in his own mysterious ways, but a great deal of the time he moves through us. And it is because we are not there that so many do not believe in God’s love.

Source: Instrument of Thy Peace 

If we know the names and stories and voices of people who are incarcerated, justice might look quite different.