A man named John works in our dining hall and he cleans up tables to make them ready for the next customer. John is about as pleasant as they come and in the many years I've known him, his kindness has been unwavering. He smiles and greets people with warmth and compassion and he's an icon in our prison's Islamic community. John is in his mid-to-late sixties and has been a part of the prison system for decades. Sadly for the outcome of John's life, he's been sent to die here. John killed someone a long time ago and he's a lifer. Yet, it's hard to tell by how at peace he is...Tonight, a guy who's know John for several years, like many of us have, told him that he was leaving on his path to getting out of prison. John smiled and congratulated him, shook his hand and was as warm as ever. In a moment that took me by surprise, John said with his deepest sincerity, "I'll see you on the outside." In that moment, I felt John's sense of hope and how he's lasted as long as he has with such a wonderful disposition. Whether it's just an idea in his mind or a principle of his faith, for John, in those moments, he WILL see the friends he's made over the years. One day, this will be over with for him and there was inspiration in his words. Thanks John, I'll see you on the outside...
by Rory Andes
There's amazing power in the messages of people, if you only listen...
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