Thoughts of my Inside Out classmates the past few days have entered my memory in the most unexpected moments– tonight was one.

Inside Out was a class I took at the Charles L Bass Prison this fall. Every Thursday night I was in Nashville, I made my way outside the city for a 2 1/2 hour class inside the walls of the prison. Half of the class & its leadership were insiders and the other half & its leadership outsiders.  Class ended on December 2, and since then I have seen more of my outsider classmates around the city than I did before graduation– Fido, Boscos, driving in my car, etc. Each time, I wonder about those classmates still serving their time, thinking about the sentences not yet finished before December 2 and wondering what the next few words might be.

As I watched Justin holding Baby C, I started thinking about an Inside Out closing circle experience I had around the second or third week of class.  Every week our class began with opening circle and ended with closing circle where each person had to answer the same question.  The second or third week of class, we were asked a question that allowed a number of my inside classmates to share regret regarding how their decisions had impacted the lives of their children and created a distance they hoped was not too long for their love to reach.

I hope the same with them tonight, this 20th day of Advent.

I hope the same for me.