Tuesday, Fourth Week in Lent

by Matthew B. Harper

Genesis 49:29,33 – Then he charged them… When Jacob ended his charge to his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

My sentence is very long. A few days after I was sentenced I spoke with my father over the phone. He told me that he might not live long enough to see me again as a free man. That is, to me, a terrifying and sobering thought.

My dad and I have always had a difficult relationship. I am now incarcerated, I am his only surviving child, and strangely we have a better relationship than any I can ever remember. And it is important to me to be in as deep a relationship with him as I can be. I read his books and talk frequently to him and my stepmother when he is in the country. Both of us value our relationship more than we did.

Dad has quit smoking and lost weight, but still lives a high-stress life. I hope and pray that we have time to once again go fishing and hiking; but his father died very young and I fear the odds are not in our favor.

I live my life with a lot of regrets—we all do—but let us not be allowed to regret damaged or broken relationships that can still be mended in the hear and now. As long as there is life for us, there is hope. If there are broken relationship in your life, reach out to heal them. If others reach out to you, accept them. In the Old Testament everybody seems to die peacefully and in the proper time, but in our lives it is seldom that way. You are not promised tomorrow, so make peace today. That will be something you never regret.

That it may please thee to inspire us, in our callings, to do the work which thou givest us to do with singleness of heart as thy servants, and for the common good, We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord” BCP 151

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