Sometimes I meet people and hear stories that make me realize I was one step away.
One step away from making the wrong decision, one step away from being caught for making the wrong decision, and one step away for giving my kids the life they deserve.
I had the pleasure of attending the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.) Graduation at the Potter’s House in Dallas this weekend. TORI is a program of the Metroplex Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), a non-profit organization founded by Bishop T.D. Jakes to bridge economic voids in urban America. Through enrollment in the T.O.R.I. program, ex-offenders participate in a 12-month case management program that focuses on key areas of rehabilitation and was an outgrowth of The Potter’s House Prison Ministry.
A lot of the graduates of the program this year are mothers. Just like me. And they have kids that are the same ages as I do. And you know what else? Some of the crimes they committed were because they were trying to provide a better life in spite of health issues, divorce, poverty, and any of life’s obstacles. And as you know, we’ve seen our share of health issues and divorce issues, and life issues.
And I’ve made some bad decisions. And I’ve almost made some worse decisions. Which puts me one step away. I can’t help but reflect and think about what the outcome could have been.
If that wasn’t enough to call my attention to the issue of incarceration and rehabilitation in our society, I have to think about the decisions that my children will one day be forced with. The statistics are there….especially for those of young African American males who come from divorced families.
Bishop T.D. Jakes says, “Because of T.O.R.I., our graduates have gone from pathology of bad choices and decisions to a positive outcome.” For me, because of my witnessing the T.O.R.I. graduation I have gone from living and merely existing every day to living intentionally. And the decision to live intentionally is the best decision I could ever make.