16/12 – A Sister’s Love

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The last time I saw this young man he was in  a party of lads on a community service order. Although an intelligent boy, he was daft enough to think he could hide a four-pack of lager under his coat in the supermarket. The cannabis had clouded his judgement, of course.

We’d shaken hands in farewell a couple of years before, after his GCSEs which he’d taken at a small private special school. Even then he’d needed (tobacco) cigarette breaks each day to survive the ordeal.

Life was tough. he had been with Dad after his mother pursued a career that occasionally saw her in the public eye for reasons greatly embarrassing to her two teenagers. Dad was in full-time work and unable to cope; when his sister went to art college, my lad went into care.

I called at his house when his coursework was overdue and was assaulted – the work was not done, of course – but this somehow cemented our mutual regard. When I heard he’d been sent down I sent a message through a friend of his sister, who had now moved North. On release he went to live near her, took an access course and a law degree, and found a steady girlfriend.

Sustained by a sister’s love, encouraged to build on those two GCSEs taken under such difficult circumstances, he left prison, and the prison of his past, behind.

Please pray for all who build up prisoners and their broken hearts.


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