My friend E.P. and I spent many hours working on RIJM’s previous website. I added at least a hundred blog entries, and we had many photos and drawings up on it. I had received several letters from inmates and had typed them up and entered them as well. I was pleased and proud. Then I missed the deadline to pay for the privilege, and I learned why backing up was so vital. Some Asian entrepreneur bought the site and all that is on it is now unavailable.
But despite E.P.’s other obligations, to family, job and community, he has helped me re-build. His generosity has led to this website coming close to representing our ministry on the internet again. It has taken a while, and I am grateful for his friendship. His design skills, both web design and artistic are a great gift.
Keeping that in mind, I have been able to be gracious about the loss of our previous work. We try to set an example for those we visit so they can understand that anger and resentment are not useful in healthy interaction. We are constantly given new opportunities to grow into that understanding. And I have been able to receive new blessings because of the loss. Grace is maintaining one’s integrity under pressure. And to “keep calm and carry on.”
Gratitude for the blessings we receive but also gratitude for the opportunity to grow and learn that adversity gives us in a new perspective. One of the lessons from Robin Casarjian which we ask prisoners who take our course to practice is silently reminding themselves, “There is a different way of looking at things.”