There are certain books that, having experienced them, change the way I think and live. When I first heard the horrific news of Candace’s disappearance my soul question was, “What happened?” I wanted to know the details of what took place.
(I learned that in your earlier book.) As the years passed and I watched you find a way, to not only survive the horror, but to thrive, my questions changed. I wanted to know, “How does one survive such horror, loss and injustice and thrive?” How do you process it all?
It is this book that lays out that heart path in riveting, raw, honest detail. Like the homicide survivor group, I too found myself repulsed by the thought of turning to offer the offenders a conversation when my soul screamed for justice laced revenge. Yet I was riveted by each courageous conversation you had with offenders because you brought your own heart.
As I watched you courageously engage in soul to human soul conversations you gave me an invitation—a new way of thinking—another way to live. You showed me that in my own life I do not just have one way of thinking when I am wronged…to stew and fester until I get justice. There are more paths than dark soul anger that consumes. I am invited to live out my own experiment, to thrive.
I would recommend this book to every person I meet for I see we all encounter injustice. For some of us it is the person we live with who does not clean the kitchen, (a metaphor for all the small daily injustices I encounter) yet I see now how processing our daily “injustices” teaches us the heart path to overcome and thrive the darker moments. Your family practiced these ways before you were confronted with horrific injustice.
Although I already believed in the path of forgiveness in theory, your story urges me to live it with abandon. What if I lived my life as an experiment to use each injustice to live my life better instead of being drawn into the dark side of injustice by moving from speaking up to paying back to self-serving revenge and destruction.
I want you to know Wilma that I read an article decades ago in a magazine about you visiting a prison and it was the part of your story I was most interested in knowing more about. This book is exactly that heart story. I also want you to know your story—your heart path really has changed the direction of my life. For me, it saved me from becoming a retaliating difficult person to live with.
My injustice, as I look back, really was about others not cleaning the kitchen (and a hundred other now seemingly irrelevant details) but my heart was going down a wrong path and the dark cloud/the dark dog was snarling. I was teaching about forgiveness through your story when I came to see my own dangerous heart path. I was destroying myself and my family. Since then I have come to try to live the path of letting go. It has saved my life as I have a beautiful family life now.
In another way this book builds suspense like a detective novel. We can see hints and clues to the mystery; how can one survive a horror and truly go on to live? What is the “solution for my cloud situation?” Wilma asks and we hang on over word. If this story were fiction we would not know if it could be true. We have all felt a dark cloud of one kind or another creeping up to destroy us, so this time the mystery is somehow our own and thus it draws us in like no other.
you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” - Rumi