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Hutchins Graduate Writes Poem

Bridges To Life

By Samuel F.

Pinpoints of light in the darkness appear;

A glimmer of hope in a world wrought with fear.

A brand new beginning when the end seemed so near;

The return of so many things we hold dear.

Finding forgiveness from within and without;

Removal from misguided guilt, hate, and doubt.

Admitting our wrongs and making amends;

Rebuilding trust so that healing begins.

Such a perilous journey would require a guide;

Brave men and women who’ll walk by our side.

Sharing their stories, such a sweet sacrifice;

And they each helped us build our own.

This letter was sent by Roderick, an offender currently in the BTL program.

Dear Mr. Sage:  I am serving a 20 year sentence for robbery, and I am currently enrolled in the Bridges To Life project. This is the most thought provoking class I have taken in my 10 years of incarceration.  The program exposes inmates to some ugly truths to which we tend to turn a blind eye.  It challenges us to see not only our criminal acts, but also life from a totally new, somewhat uncomfortable, vantage point.  I just realized, after reading the Forgiveness chapter, that I have never even asked my own mom to forgive me for dragging her through this whole mess with me.

Your project, therefore, is as effective as it is noble, and I envision myself helping to further the cause of Bridges To Life when I am released.  I would be absolutely honored if you would allow me to volunteer for your program when I am released from prison.  I do not think there would be a program more fitting and significant for me to be involved with than Bridges To Life.  God Bless.  Roderick.

This email was sent by Debbie, a veteran BTL volunteer in the Houston area.

Hey John.  How is everything?  As you know, Barbie and I are in a group at Darrington and wanted to share with you what we shared with Beverly after our last group.  We had the guys read their letters, and we completed all but one before we ran out of time.  After each man read his letters, I didn't believe I could hear any more - the depth of the pain, of forgivneess, of regret, of God's love was so intense and with each and every one, it never stopped. One guy said "You tricked me.  Each week you gave us something to think about, to write about, and to feel."  He was crying and said that he had become his father, the father he swore he would never be.  He got it, like all the others did as well.  All of them "got it."  This was the most powerful night I have ever had in BTL.  We were emotionally exhausted driving home.  We couldn't even process it, it was so powerful.  So, as the old hats doing this, I just wanted you to know that it keeps getting better and better.  Beverly is awesome in her leadership.  See you at graduation.