M2/W2 has been planning and preparing for the first NOLA circle for years, and it felt incredibly good to be part of this moment; the commencement! Volunteers and ex-inmates bound together on a journey towards greater accountability and restoration. Oh, the beauty, the raw necessity of connection! God understood this!
My heart ached, as I heard a gentleman sitting in our circle express the crime he committed, the pain and loss he caused his family, his community, and himself. He appeared to be a broken and humble; willing to do whatever to give back to his community, to make amends for what he had done – acknowledging there was no way to bring back the life he had taken; yet how he desperately wished he could.
As we sat in this circle of hope, we were making history and breaking the vicious cycle of the past! My heart was overwhelmed with hope, excitement, synergy, purpose, gratitude, connection, grace, mercy, and love. Could this be what the Father experienced as well when He chose to give His son so that we could live in communion with Him, to experience forgiveness, to feel genuine, undeserving, precious acceptance?