Encouraging Our Incarcerated Sisters
By Paula Walker
In the last few months I read three books: Just Mercy by Bryan Josephson, Becoming Ms. Burton by Susan Burton and Barking to the Choir by Father Gregory Boyle. They all illuminated how broken our criminal justice system and prisons have become. One of my resounding questions was “What can I do to help?” One of the answers: create cards to send to incarcerated women.
On a Sunday afternoon in January, 14 women joined me to share their loving hearts and creative gifts by painting cards and writing words of encouragement. The cards were beautiful and full of love. The Monks of the Community of Divine Love delivered our offerings of love to the inmates they minister to at the Los Angeles County Jail. Remembering how a group of women showed up to respond to my “What can I do to help?” still brings joy to my heart.
Healing occurs in using our creative gifts, being with a loving community of women and sharing those gifts with others. I truly believe this love goes a long way. Like the butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon helping with global environmental health, so too could a loving card at the right time and right place bring life to someone who feels lost and forgotten.
I truly thank all of the women who gave their time, hearts and love to support women suffering amidst the brokenness of the criminal justice system. We plan to hold about 6 workshops a year. Our next will be on Sunday afternoon, March 4. Details and dates of all workshops will be posted on Alive and Well Women’s Facebook page. I look forward to having you join us!
Paula grew up in the Midwest, completed a Masters degree in Anthropology from Purdue University in the 1970’s, and has spent the past 28 years as a Realtor. She’s excited to be part of a shift of consciousness where people are working towards a culture of love and compassion towards all people. “I see that shift happening, in many ways, throughout the world. Somehow I landed with a passion around women who are and have been incarcerated. Making and writing cards is a small contribution to women in prison yet I hope one that adds to healing and a positive rehabilitation of someone’s heart and mind.”