R. A. Dickey Photo/Flickr via Keith Allison [http://bit.ly/1f8qmMv]

The health benefits of forgiveness

  • July 2, 2015

We’ve heard a lot about forgiveness lately, especially the immediate forgiveness from victims’ families to the shooter in the heinous murders in a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

It’s almost unfathomable how they could forgive, especially so quickly. But it is also a beacon of brilliant Christian light shining on the issue of racism and hatred in the United States and elsewhere.

In Canada, we’ve seen the release recently of the good work done on Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission over the decades-long abuse of aboriginals in the residential school system.

Unrelated to either, the other day I was reading the autobiography of Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey entitled Wherever I Wind Up. In it, Dickey candidly reveals how he was repeatedly abused when he was eight years old by a female babysitter and later by an older male. For many years, these horrific incidents defined him: He felt guilt and shame, he manipulated people, held secrets, lied and retreated from intimacy and truth. He believed he found God, turned his life around and married a wonderful woman named Anne. But, by holding these hidden secrets deep within himself, it was all a mirage.

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