Not a Black Sheep
It was another long night for my incarcerated fathers group. This time a random drug test delayed the class for over half an hour. When you’re working with the jail, it’s their schedule and not yours. Finally the men arrived and we had a good session with honest, sometimes painful, questions, answers and discussion. Because we started late we ran over on our allotted time but when we buzzed the guard to open the door he let us know we’d have to wait. So the guys and I sat around and talked about what it’s like to be incarcerated, separated from family and friends and a host of other topics. After a long while the door buzzed and the men left. I sat alone waiting for my turn when another inmate, who’d returned from a work release program, came into the room.
It had been a long day and I was ready to go but took a deep breath and asked; “How’s your day?” We small talked a little and then I told him who I was, what I did. He began to open up about his life, poor choices he had made, a wife and seven month old child he missed greatly and said, “I’ve always been the black sheep of my family. My brothers and sisters are good people, not me.” The speaker behind me crackled; “Mr. Loging, you can leave anytime.” A few moments before I was ready to go, now I wanted to stay. I looked him in the eye and told him; “I don’t know you but I want you to know you’re not a black sheep. Bad choices can be overcome. You are worthy of a good life, being a good husband and a good father and if you let me, I’ll help you in anyway I can.” He looked down, shook his head yes and sighed. The door buzzed. I handed him my card, told him to consider what we talked about and left.
What we think about ourselves often determines the path we choose to our follow.