Confronting the evil of social injustice must be predicated on the understanding that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12). Social injustice is a failure to see Christ in our neighbor. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Everywhere especially applies to prison.
Uprooting the weed of injustice in prisons is a process that is not instantaneous. It requires the tools of forgiveness, reconciliation and creative restoration using one’s time, treasure and talent. St Paul counseled Timothy that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution”. (2Timothy 3:12). Breaking the roots of injustice requires suffering on both sides for righteousness sake. Nevertheless the outcome is unspeakable joy and blossoming friendships. We are all flowers in God’s garden.
To uproot social injustice in prison, one must first ask God for strength and direction. Then fast according to your ability. Then begin to reach out through random acts of kindness, unceasing prayer, and patient forgiveness. Love goes from heart to heart and strength to strength, regardless of melanin. Lastly, Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”
-Dr. Carla Thomas, Member of the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Board of Trustees