All the work I've been doing at church has revolved around inspiring young people to better themselves and around charity. But, yesterday was the first time I had to look a teenager in the eye and explain that I've been to prison and the reasons why. It was sobering.
I left prison determined to improve the lives of deprived young people. The children I was with yesterday were not deprived. However, I can plainly see that there was a lot of guidance I could give them too. The sobering part was realizing the immense responsibility I have to them.
Having a broken wrist, and bills to pay leaves me in a financial pinch. It's been very tempting to indulge in criminal activity. I don't want to ruin my credit nor give up my computer. However, the responsibility that I have to these children means even more to me. If I can teach them, by example as well as speech, to learn from my experiences and to avoid some of my mistakes I've made then all my life's struggles have been worthwhile.
This realization moves me in a way I cannot describe. My computer program is screwing up because I cry while I dictate these words. I think these are tears of relief. It feels good to let go of so many frivolous concerns so that I can focus on the mission at hand.
I'm even fasting today. I have to break some habits and clear my head of certain ways of thinking. Fasting and meditation are the best ways I know of to accomplish these things.
I must say, for the comfort of the church's parents and the well being of the church that I do not normally directly interact with small children. I'm not a sexual offender, but ex-con has a stigma all its own. So, if I'm not a friend of the child's parent(s), I avoid personal interactions with children as much as possible. Plus, the church has its own policies governing who can work with children. I haven't been properly trained to meet its qualifications yet.
Eventually, all will come to see me for the man I am. I just have to continue to be patient and sincere.
Meanwhile, I'll do all I can to steer young adults away from the mistakes I made while helping my church help the community.
Supaman Tion Terrell