It’s not too often the Shine4Him Photo blog ventures into social commentary, but I think this week’s photo deserves it (phrases taken from Exodus 3:5 and Psalm 100:4, painted on a church wall in India). So does the recent happenings in Aurora, CO in the USA.
In the week following this tragedy, there have been many stories emerge of heroism, sacrifice, and love. Tragedies tend to bring out the deepest emotions and people’s true selves. Anyone can claim what they think they would do in a situation, but we never know for sure until something forces us to act without thinking. That’s what the men who died saving their girlfriends were doing. Somewhere, they learned that was the noble thing to do, and when the moment came, they acted. Now the world is grateful, even through many tears.
Then there is Pierce O’Farrill, one of the other victims of the shooting. Despite having been shot three times, the moment he was released from the hospital, he told the press that he had forgiven the shooter. Again, this goes against the grain of what seems normal. No one blames the families who are angry at Holmes. I doubt few would be upset when justice is served. But what about this guy?
Forgiveness, in itself, is very freeing. For years, research has proven that bitterness only tears apart the person who carries it, and forgiveness allows the person to give up the “victim” title and move on with their lives. Personally, I hope everyone involved can eventually come to that point, though it will likely take years. And please note that forgiveness is not exoneration. I’m sure even O’Farrill would agree that the courts need to do their job. But this immediate forgiveness, and even a willingness to talk to and pray for the shooter? Now that’s something different.
O’Farrill links his actions to his faith in Jesus Christ. It takes more than just being a good person to forgive like that, I’ve found. It takes power beyond ourselves. But through the years, many have discovered the power that Jesus provides to forgive those who hurt them. Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom also had to lean on her faith to forgive the man who tortured her and her sister. But both of these people have made the same amazing discovery – that forgiveness gives us a glimpse of the true nature of God, and in that, we can be thankful.
Have you ever struggled to forgive someone who hurt you? Where do you find the strength to move on?
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 800 • f 6.3 • 1/100 sec
Happy New Year! As we get ready to start the next year, make (and break) resolutions, and throw wild parties that involve streamers and kazoos, it’s often time to look back as well. We look at all the things we’ve learned the past year and wonder, “What the heck was I thinking?” Ok, so maybe not all our memories give us warm fuzzies. But I hope most of them do!
We’re celebrating over here as well, because on January 1st, the Shine4Him Photography blog will be one year old! In honor of that, and of the New Year, I thought it would be fun to take a look back over the past year’s top posts. I chose these due to the number of comments (including Facebook and FORUS Athletics posts), how often they were searched in Google (yes, I can figure that stuff out. Creepy, huh?), as well as how much fun I had writing them. So, without further ado, let’s take a step back in time.
- This year was a time for some serious topics. I tried to keep up with the news when I could. First, we had the earthquake in Japan. Then, I wrote about my experience at the Indiana State Fair. Finally, we looked at an everyday occurance – the plight of temple children in India.
- Some of my more serious topics were inspirational. In a few posts I discussed who inspires me, a lesson learned from an Indian beggar girl, and how a team of volunteers saved a group of orphans from jail in Mexico (in three posts: here, here, and here).
- True to the point of this blog, we covered cultural and tourist-y things as well. It seems tons of people loved reading about the Queen’s Guard in London and a slew of hidden crosses around the world (my two most-searched posts). Others got some laughs talking about statue actors and Singapore’s crazy laws.
- Finally, we can’t forget the funny, strange, and just plain awkward! These posts included real things people have told me, a rural ‘urban legend‘, and the fact that I actually am crazy enough to pet a tiger.
Expect more fun times in the year to come! This spring, I will also be adding another country to the lineup: Poland! I bet you can’t wait!
What was your favorite blog post this year?