My week of reinvention is over and
recent readership numbers indicate
so are you. After all that blathering
I still don't have the answer. Please
don't ask for an apology. Bringing
you along on my life journey is the
purpose of this blog. An open diary,
this most public of venues helps me
to process things. Therefore I thank
each an every one of my readers for
your patience. You are my virtual
back up team. Always there to help
and support this confused traveler.
We all need help once in awhile. And
at least I've found that there is safety
in numbers. No, I'm not suggesting the
more the merrier nor crowd sourcing
solace. However working through life's
mysteries with someone who knows
you helps get you to a better place -
FASTER. Hence I rely on a very few
friends. Confidants, who are willing to
tell me like it is whether I want to hear
it or not! And while I don't always like
what's said, my advisory counsel hits
the nail on the head. God that hurts!
Sometimes we don't actually realize
how damaged we are. This summer's
experience at our church has caused
more pain than I initially thought it
did. I've experienced anti-gay abuse
before, yet somehow receiving it from
a supposed man of God cut deeper.
Our former priest is just as human
as all of us. The problem is he doesn't
think so. Fortunately I've moved on to
a better place but just when I think I'm
finally over it, something reminds me
that my deep wounds are still healing.
How do people overcome hatred
and abuse? I have to admit that at
times I find it more than a daunting
task. While I absolutely have the
ability to forgive within, forgetting
seems to be my challenge. I can't
accept or embrace the purposeful
cruelty of most prejudicial actions.
Why do seemingly good people do
bad things? Last night Frank and
I saw the film Unbroken. Not for
the faint of heart, the physical abuse
shown is brutal. And it's a true story.
Against all odds
Louis Zamperini overcame self
doubt to become an Olympic
athlete. Instead of running in the
cancelled 1940 Tokyo olympics,
Lou fought the Japanese. After
his plane crashed into the Pacific,
he floated on a raft for forty seven
days. Post capture by the enemy
he spent the balance of the war
in captivity. Subjected to repeated
abuse by the sadistic captain of his
POW camp somehow Louis was
able to survive it all... "unbroken."
Walk this way
Years later, Louis returned to Japan
to personally meet with his captors.
His message was simple, forgiveness.
The very idea that someone so hurt
and damaged could redeem others is
almost incomprehensible. When we
are faced with adversity it's easy to
either acquiesce or lash out. And yet
some do neither. Instead in the midst
of the firestorm they quietly confront
their own personal demons and then
move on. Could the ultimate revenge
actually be redemption?
Open and shut case
Whatever I've faced pales when
compared what Louis overcame.
And yet, facing one's ghosts and
embracing their legacy is what
we must all do. In an age where
most prefer to blame anyone but
themselves for their mistakes,
Lou's example offers a better
alternative. No one benefits from
hatred - neither the victim nor
perpetrator. Everyone benefits
from forgiveness - that clean slate
enables us to start anew. All the
better, wiser, and STRONGER.