Sunday, December 27, 2020

Be Strong and Courageous



My eighth day in confinement.

Earlier today I was informed by classification supervisor Ted Key that I would be transferred under the authority of the state classification officer in the Florida Department of Corrections headquarters in Tallahassee. I would much prefer transfer to Union C. I., Raiford, an “over-50 years old” prison where the conditions are much better. Mr. Key said that I would remain in confinement until transfer. What is hurting me is being denied access to my legal documents and research for my active lawsuit against the FDOC. I have a new deadline of December 31st, granted by the judge last week.

One good thing about lockup is the opportunity to read the Bible. I’ve found over the years that turning to a random book of the Bible  and reading it would often provide an inspirational message, sort of like a Chinese fortune cookie for Christians.

When I got settled in last week, I did just that, opened the large-print Bible my Aunt Alice gave me 34 years ago, and found myself in the book of Joshua. Now, much of Joshua concerns the extermination of the Canaanites by the Israelites, but there are nuggets of wisdom, especially in Chapter One, that seemed to apply to me and my situation.

Four times in Chapter One the Lord commanded Joshua to “Be strong and courageous.” Once the Lord tells Joshua, “Be strong and very courageous,” and another time He says, “Only be strong and courageous!” He adds, “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I haven’t been terrified, but I have been discouraged, and reading those verses I felt they were talking to me. “Be strong and courageous” applies to everyone. Repeating it four times must be important.

One disappointment — every year, 42 years, I’ve enjoyed sending Christmas cards to friends and family, and actually getting a few back. In 2020, my Christmas card list took several hits, losing my mother, Lucille, Uncle David Walker, and several other family members and friends. Being preoccupied with this lawsuit the past several months has been hard, and Covid-19 has turned the world topsy-turvy. Now we are getting deep in December, and I am unprepared to send out cards. Instead, I will share my Christmas greetings — “Merry Christmas!” May 2021 be a better year for you and yours. God bless you!

Charlie Norman

“Be strong and courageous!”

No comments: