The Walls and the Light

by Darrell Domblewski
Orleans Prison Worship Group


As I think about “The Light Behind the Walls,” I am so thankful for the ones who have brought the “Light” behind the walls and of the numerous ways they shared their messages.


Over 25 years ago, I started my current incarceration period. Life for me was one of deep confusion and utter despair. I felt shattered, totally worthless, and just so purposeless. Guilt, shame, and loss are a few of the feelings of emptiness and darkness that had become my life.


Then, on a Saturday night in the fall of 1995, I attended a Quaker meeting at Auburn Correctional Facility. A friend invited me to go, so I did. That is where I first met Quakers.


Meetings were not like church. The attendees were unlike any congregation I was involved with before. The Quakers were different in ways I really needed in my life back then (and still today). I would discover over the course of many years the special hearts the Quaker volunteers have, and how they so openly share their faith, their hearts, and their thoughts with us behind the walls.


Most importantly, I discovered that these Quaker volunteers brought more than Light. These dear, patient Friends also enabled me to realize I had created numerous “walls” inside myself that isolated me from my heart and from everyone else. Through the building blocks of lies, self-centeredness, drug use, gambling, pain, guilt, a very judgmental personality, and many other faults and wrong-doings, I had laid the foundations and barriers that would separate me from an essential part of my own being. I discovered that I was not so kind, understanding, or even as loving as I thought I was. I had become a person who was totally self-centered, and sadly did not even know it.


Nowadays, and most likely for a long time, it will hurt, knowing all the people I’ve used or hurt through my faults, lies, and wrong-doings, especially those who loved me so.


I have described what “the WALLS,” in “The Light Behind the Walls” means to me, so now I’ll share what “the LIGHT” has meant and means to me.


The “Light” is more than can be seen with open eyes (that’s for sure).


The “Light” is simply the truth, with a willingness to understand and listen to it.


From Quakers, I’ve discovered that I am in some ways a Seeker. I seek to discover “that of God in everyone,” which is the fundamental truth that Quakers believe.


I look back into my past a lot. I remember the many people that showed and shared their dear, special “Lights” with an uncomprehending me during my life. I’m both humbled and grateful that I’m now able to view their “Lights” with an understanding of “that of God.” Over a decade ago, I discovered that “that of God in everyone,’’ a “Light,” may be revealed to me in many ways.  It’s mind blowing when I realize the countless ways God does speak to me, through the many “Lights” of so many people in this world.


And so what the “LIGHT” means to me is learning to be more receptive to hearing and understanding what God is sharing. It is listening with an open heart and open mind to an all-loving God.


Thank you to all the Quaker volunteers and to the many others behind the walls who help bring and share their “Lights.” Thank you so much to everyone who has or who had to put up with me. I’ve been so truly blessed with your care and love. And most of all, Thank You, God, for your love and understanding, and for being an all-loving God, and such a constant “LIGHT.”


Thank you for reading this, and I hope that you may each discover what God may be sharing and showing to each of you.


May God Bless You Always.