So, prison went well this morning. Everything fitted together so well you'd have thought we'd spent days planning it instead of 10 minutes. Jez, our musician, played one of his own songs, which went down extremely well. So well that they asked for a replay at the end of the morning and several of the men asked for copies of the words. It was a very thoughtful and honest song.
The only what-could-have-been-a-hiccup came to my attention at the end so I didn't stress about it at the time. We began by looking at the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt, being chased by the Egyptians, the parting of the Red Sea, and the drowning of the Egyptians. Carolyn who read out the story told me afterwards that when she'd sat down the man sitting next to her and leaned in and whispered, 'I'm Egyptian.'
Could have been tricky but wasn't quite as bad as the time when we told the story of the Ragman. It involved a one-armed man and who should be sitting in the congregation but a one-armed man. The story wasn't derogatory about disability or anything like that but Debbie who was telling it did feel a little uncomfortable.
In those days we had to take the service twice for different groups of men so, after the first service, Debbie asked the chaplain if there'd be a one-armed man in the next service too.
'No, no,' he'd assured her. 'How likely would that be to happen?'
And he was right; there wasn't a one-armed man in the next congregation. There was however a completely armless man.