Talking about feet might seem like a weird thing to discuss for an author, poet, Christian Minister, and/or lawyer. Seems like a better question for a podiatrist, runner, doctor or some other person concerned with body parts or physical fitness. However, I am asking you to consider the question today, right now as you read this on your mobile device or computer: Where are you feet? Entertain me and answer aloud.
It may seem like a silly question and I am here to suggest to you that it is! Your feet tell you where you are physically located that it is it! Your feet are connected to the rest of your body and give you an indication as to where you physically are. Yet we go throughout our very days preoccupied, worried, and overcome by where our feet are. We spend hours talking about where we are and why we think we got there and whose fault it is that we are there. Yet, it is in fact a silly question. The question that really matters is: Where is your heart and mind?
You are, where you are, when you are there. The question to consider is: Where is your mind and heart when you are there? One day years ago I had the life altering honor of meeting a man who was one of the most kind and gentle men I ever had the privilege to encounter. He was serving a life sentence for a crime he did not commit. He heard that I may be able to help him, so he hired me to come sit with him and answer all his legal questions. All his questions of course were ultimately directed to see if he had any chance of ever leaving the prison system and smelling fresh air that was not contained by barbed wire, concrete fences and armed guards. So I visited him. We sat in a room that was perhaps 6 by 5 feet with no windows, two chairs that were clearly the throw aways from two separate sets from the 1960's, and a small table that was knee high that doubled at the time as a desk for both of us to lay out our books, papers, and notepads. What also sat on the table was panic button I was given to push, if I was in danger from my new client.
We talked about what happened some 17 years previously when he was in his 40's and he shared how he had taken responsibility for the crimes of a woman he loved. He shared about changes that have happened in his family: births, deaths, marriages, discord and reconciliations. He also proudly told me of his accomplishments of certain privileges, jobs earned, certifications achieved and other such feats, since being jailed for almost two decades. This stranger opened his heart, his mind and his life.
Although our legal consultation lasted approximately one hour, I stayed and talked with him for nearly two and half hours. I advised this incredibly peaceful and loving man that he did not have any legal appeals left and that any efforts I could possibly make on his part were likely almost guaranteed to be futile. I also assured him if he wanted me to make those futile efforts I would. He emphatically declined any further efforts. He simply said he had heard good things about me and that he knew I would tell him the truth. He expressed great gratitude that left me humbled and much more grateful than we both imagined.
His feet were located in a physical plant of concrete, limited physical movement, and at times full of harsh and hopeless energy. This tall man that had begun to gray and lose his hair to a receding plain of youthful skin, smiled often, told me stories and shared hope. He reminded me that I was not to feel bad for him that he made stupid choices to cover for a woman that a couple years after he was locked up stopped visiting and corresponding with him. He assured me that he would continue mentoring the younger ones that came to prison to turn their life around and make thoughtful choices. He reminded me although his feet were in prison, his heart had been comforted and softened by forgiveness of himself and others. He taught me of the power of presence and that life has nothing to do with location.
So today as you sit, stand, or lie down wherever you are: Remember this grand warrior in your own thoughts and prayers. Remember him when it seems to matter too much where you are located and you have not gained control of your emotions, your own mind and your countenance. Remember him when it seems that where your feet are planted determines your future. Remember his example of being present to the opportunity of life, just as it is and have your mind and heart determine how your feet experience life! :-)
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Until then, be well and happy!
Beautifully written and inspiring story! I can only hope that this man has received or will receive the just he deserves!! You're representing a family member of mine for something that they too didn't do, hopefully you can help them out.
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If you have legal or faith questions, or perhaps another concern or question, feel free to contact me at:
Regina D. Jemison
500 Griswold, Suite 2410
Detroit, MI 48226