May 2019 Newsletter

On a clear day, you can see forever… The greatest thing a human being does in this world is to see something…… To see clearly, poetry, prophecy and religion, all in one.
- John Ruskin

Although sight is a miraculous gift, we barely scratch the surface of really seeing this vast universe and how the Creator is a master artist which with our sight we could glance and be privy to see the first command given. Light.

“Let there be light, and there was light, and out of the vast darkness, Light. It was there and it was called good."

We believe that ignorance is referred to as “darkness” and truth is a definite idea of light.

Within this position chaplaincy has a smooth way of using the divine gift of “Light” to become a vehicle for passengers, otherwise known as inmates/prisoners and those who have been confined from the simple pleasures of seeing the world change from the invention of cable tv to wifi and how fast information can travel from one end of the earth to the other.

Yet, this idea of truth and the precious gift of sight can gradually slip away from us and move to the place of a missed chance, or rare opportunity to experience a sunset, a sunrise, a rain storm while the sun is still shining.

Have you ever seen the budding of the cherry blossoms or a dogwood tree at its peak in bloom.

I’m told the Grand Canyon is a breathtaking spectacle of God’s creation.

Imagine a butterfly on the tip of a cactus just upon bloom in the springtime.

Inside these prison walls, there is always a teaching moment to remind someone about the divine gift given of light, not just the physical appearance of light, but the gift of intellect only given to the human being. That lifts us up above all other creations and allows that divine light to shine.

Walking into a dark housing unit, with the divine light of having an opportunity to lift someone’s spirit, inspire a bit of hope, the chance to remind someone that someone sees them, want to encourage them and share the idea of hope with them.

This chance to say to a few, the work of the chaplains, of all faith groups, is to get up each morning put on our superheroes capes, and rush to this institutions and facilities with the intentions of saying to someone who has lost hope, encouragement and faith the chance to find the light or the love of the Creator again.

With these fresh eyes, with a loving and an appreciative heart, we learn to savor everyday epiphanies, we’re able to encounter that which is Sacred in those things that seem ordinary.

I describe myself to this population of folks as a grain of sand on the beach. Drop me anywhere near a beach and try to find me. I am a speck within a sea of sand if you believe me to be extraordinary.

It is just a reflection of yourself, whether if what You see is good or whether it is not good. Remember, you can really only see that which you are most familiar.

In the next “sighting of the new moon,” for the Islamic World, will begin the fast of Ramadan. The time of year when for the next 20-30 days billions of people will observe fasting from sunrise to sunset, no food, nor drink. Instead prayers, reading of the Quran, feeding those in need, keeping off disputes, and most of all engaging in the remembrance of God.

Being thankful for those small things that complete our day, and sharing with others about the gifts of the fast. We encourage others to help people and show kindness and patience as often as one can.

This is a humble view of whether we see the beauty daily, from the smallest to the largest. We are just reflecting on this idea of seeing with this divine gift given or is it just a quick glance in passing.

Remember, On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever…

Submitted by Sabah Muhammad-Tahir
MS Muslim Chaplain, CCWF