Clare’s reflection from the Glynn County Detention Facility

From Clare Grady,

“I am especially grateful for today’s Gospel reading. I feel that I have been living it and I want to share my experience, strength, and hope…MK 10:28-31: Peter began to say to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you: Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age; houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last and the last will be first.”

I have heard these lines my whole life, but in preparing for the Kings Bay Plowshares Action, this giving up became very, very real. It was not an abstraction—I had to “get my affairs in order.” THE most agonizing part of “giving up” ” was preparing to leave my children, even though they are grown. I found it unbearable to think that I might never see them again. What kind of mother would consciously make that choice— asked a voice in my head. I remember opening my Bible one night to look at this very passage from Mark’s Good News. Needless to say, I was not comforted to find children on the list. More than once I prayed that this cup would pass me by. My wish was and is to live, to live in Peace.”

Best case scenario I would face arrest, jail, courts, trial and possible conviction and prison—all of which turn my guts.
Along with all this was the constant question I asked myself: “What is God’s will?” I received some help with discernment in our group process but the question never left me—up until the action—the whole time I took one step at a time. And then I experienced PEACE, the night of the action—with 7 of us walking under the stars in the night sky—walking til we parted to go our different routes for different parts of the action. This Peace carried me through the action, arrest, Camden County Jail (as awful as it was) It is fair to say that I recognize that I am right where I need to be where God has led so many parts of my life to lead here—my family, my faith, my politics, my recovery: it all comes together here.

When I read the last line of today’s Good News, I am reminded that some recent great thinkers use those Bible words from 2,000 years ago, to sum up the process of decolonization*. That sounds right to me…Along with the words, “Widen the Prison Gates.”** Let me know what you think. It will have to be in writing on a small white postcard w/blue ink—with my jail ID #015632 and my pod and cell and bunk info (C-107-B) and it might get through and I will respond with another small white postcard. (* see Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth(p. 36): In decolonization, there is, therefore, the need of a complete calling in question of the colonial situation. If we wish to describe it precisely, we might find it in the well-known words: “The last shall be first and the first last.” Decolonization is the putting into practice of this sentence. That is why, if we try to describe it, all decolonization is successful.

** title of a 1973 book by Phillip Berrigan, taken from a quote by Gandhi: “We must widen the prison gates and we must enter them as a bridegroom enters the bride’s chamber. Freedom is to be wooed only inside prison walls and sometimes on gallows.” The Wit and Wisdom of Gandhi, p. 94.)


Posted in