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Divided Together

There is man in the cell next to me
Afraid to talk to me because I am labelled
Once again the bad guy for standing for the truth
He passed me a kite, "I know who you are"
A kite is a prison note
It was a kindness
He slides me kites under the bars

Bless him Lord, bless us both

Help us feel loved, help us feel safe
Keep us, Lord, we both belong to you
Both loved by you
Once lost boys you found
Break the walls
Heal your children
Bring us together despite the divide


                                -Stephen Pursell, 4/04


During my years in prison I walked as a christian and thus was the object of much hatred for my ability to love those who are generally rejected by criminally-minded prison culture. My refusal to participate in prison inmate politics and my open demonstrations of love for my christian brothers(and others I reached out to in God's love) from varying racial and cultural backgrounds was feared and hated by men of evil intent. As a result I was physically attacked many times. Since the prison system does not care whether or not one is defending himself against an unprovoked attack and it only seeks to accuse, condemn, punish and abuse, I was always thrown in solitary confinement for these defending myself. I remember specifically(and recognize we the paper on which the original was penciled) that this poem came during one of those passages through solitary confinement due to persecution, one after which I had had to fight a man much bigger than me to avoid being abused even worse.  But what a blessing to be persecuted for the the Lord and share in his sufferings!  Hallelujah!



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