Friday, November 11, 2005

A Favor Shown to Us

In Jeremiah, I read the following:

Jeremiah, 52: 31-34

In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, Evilmerodach, king of Babylon, in the inaugural year of his reign, took up the case of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and released him from prison. He spoke kindly to him and gave him a throne higher than that of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. Johoiachin took off his prison garb and ate at the king's table as long as he lived. The allowance given him by the king of Babylon was a perpetual allowance, in fixed daily amounts, all the days of his life until the day of his death.


We create our own prisons. They may not reek of sweat, filth, grime and the desparate frenzy of hopeless men, but they are rat-infested pits of despair that enclose our hearts and spirits.

They need not hold such absolute power over our concsiousness and our souls, if we choose to open our cells and step out into a greater, wider world.

Our prisons are of our own creation - we make them when we overwork, succumb to addiction, choose the comfort of guilt, fear, and pain over the difficulties of truth and change. We build up prisons of habit, sarcasm, insincerity, lies and deceit because those walls are familiar - they are our walls - we built them. In a way, we need those walls because they are our creation. To destroy our prisons and live in a better world we must tear down what we built up. There is a sense of loss in making new what is old and well-worn.

Still, as Jehoiachim received his freedom from the king of Babylon, we too can find freedom from our prisons, if we only turn to others. Sometimes, the walls of our island fortresses are so tall, so thick, that we need help to burst through and tear up their foundations. We cannot rely on our own strength to escape the darker places of our spirit - after all, our self-reliance was not enough to keep us from the depths we inhabit.

We must have courage enough to reach out and hold the hands of those around us, and together we will find a way to escape the hellish prisons that keep us huddled alone in the shadows.</P