Good Friday: A Message From John McCain
Ann: Friday’s Child, the poem by W. H. Auden* and the remembered nursery rhyme came into my life last night, the evening before Good Friday and its remembrance of Christ Crucified. John, I feel you are here. You would know what it’s like to be crucified or near enough.
John McCain: Well, Annie, as you live it, it is interminable, when it is over, its seeds of excruciating pain and terror never leave, but I was blessed in my friends, in my brothers in arms who weathered what I did and worse, some not surviving, some wounded in ways beyond recovery. I, like Ishmael,** "... am escaped alone to tell thee" because of their steadfastness, because of their courage.
I know what you want to know. How does anyone endure that and come out halfway whole on the other side? The answer is simple -but not easy - the faith and love of God. It’s real, Annie, the most real thing in this world or the next, and I was blessed to be able to feel it and was granted the grace to choose it.
Auden was right. He gave us the choice. And under the direst of circumstances, when we can feel His love, that love will stand between us and every mortal horror that man has devised. Nothing less would have led me to God. Nothing less would have granted me the energy and joy that carried me through the rest of my life. Everything paled beside that.
So on this Good Friday where unimaginable pain and sickening cruelty is remembered, remember also that He does not forsake us. He suffers with us through the choices that we have made, choices that carry each and every one of us to the place we are now.
Oh, I don’t mean that bad people suffer and good people don’t. I mean the choices that we make allow us to live the life we have been given in fulfillment or loss. Choose fulfillment, my friends. Choose God’s love, and you will never go wrong. I send you love and heartfelt gratitude for all that I have been given.
April 10, 2020
* See post "Friday's Child" for April 9, 2020
**Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 136, Epilogue.
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