When introduced together to someone new and the question is asked about how we met, “In prison,” is the standard refrain; it’s a scratch on the conversational record that skips us to a social justice issue we both care deeply about. Our winding way, first apart, now together travels through the most unlikely of places; prisons and jails and through the locks, walls and razor wire into the hearts of the incarcerated.
You see, everyone matters to God regardless of what they’ve done, no one is beyond redemption and restoration: there simply are no disposable people. What if you were only ever known by the worst mistake you ever made? The men, women and youth in custody are reminded continually of their offenses by just about every minute and detail of their life behind bars.
For us, moving from the abstract (prisoner) to the personal and known has moved the waypoints on our journey. Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy) insists you have to, “get proximate to the problem.” Hutch, Hicks, D-White, Iron Head, Keith, Ronnie Slim, Deli, Sandra, Cindy, Sabrina – each name recalls a face, a heart, a life that matters. Little by little we come to know each other, we tell our stories from level ground, not about what we’ve done but who we are, and who we are becoming, exhorting one another, not alone, but in community, to love, redemption, restoration, and good works.
Working to make prison a place of shalom, where the wounded can find healing, is a driving force and source of joy in our life.
We were married under the arch outside of Café 4 in August of 2019, on a Sunday morning in-between Crossings’ services. We love our life in The Knox – the Gay Street Gingers – Graffiti Alley and Market Square in the back yard and Cruze Farms in the front. For us, early mornings are for coffee and the sharing of words read in the books shelved and stacked about, days for work at the 4th Purpose Foundation, nights for Schitt’s Creek, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or a walk down to the river; weekends for mountain hiking and flower seeking. We are rich in daughters having 4: Miranda, Madelyn, Callie and Emily. We are exceeding grateful for our life in the Crossings Community – come visit us downtown, we love to cook and break bread around the table.