Thursday, October 7, 2010

Poopscoop: football, change, dogs, and forgiveness????

The past few weeks, I have posted some not so nice things about the Eagles QB Micheal Vick. Like what they could do to him on the sidelines after a bad play, similar to what he did to his dogs. I have been thinking a lot about this. First, I broke my first rule which is not to wish harm on another. In doing so, although I of course did not act upon those thoughts, did wishing that make me almost as bad as him? That brings me to the concept of forgiveness. It is one I have always had a hard time understanding. Does the offending person have to ask for it? What does it really mean to forgive? I was told it mean not wishing bad to come to the person in question. Then I was thinking, is it up to me to forgive, or for the Guy upstairs? My husband and I were watching a game and I told him " All i want to hear is that he is sorry and can't believe what he did to those dogs" My husband, equally horrified by the events in Georgia, told me Vick had apologized and when I looked into the 60 Minutes interview (which I never bothered to watch since I was so disgusted) I found he said the exact things I wanted to hear. Not that that makes it OK by any stretch of the imagination mind you.This past weekend i saw another interview in which Vick said his life had been a lie, he was wearing a mask and Leavenworth was the best thing to happen to him. He spoke about how his life is changed now- for the better. He said he was brought up in dogfighting from the age of 8. My question is can a person change? I have seen it happen. Are some things unforgivable ? Is it my business to forgive him? Could i forgive anyway?I had an idea to write to him and ask him to visit our home and meet our dogs in person. Not only would they be a great judge of his character, but he could see how we treat them as family , how Joe has a heart condition and gets meds and is a FRIEND. I would like to see the interaction and look into his eyes and see if there has been change. No press or anything, just private. What he did bothers me so much that I think that is the reason I need to know.It is said all things happen for a reason and perhaps he will become a tool of change for children that are being brought up in the situation he was. Ok, what I need now are your thoughts and opinions.




Art and Sew Forth said...

Doody...this is a fine article. We all wrestle with forgiveness if we have been hurt or a loved one has been hurt. The fact that you want to do the right thing even with regards to something this inhumane is a good thing. And,yes, it is our responsibility to forgive. Matt 6:14 is clear on that. But forgiving does not mean that all consequences of someone's actions vanish. God forgives if wew lie, cheat,or steal, but He does not always prevent us from going to prison! Forgiveness is ongoing for those who have asked Christ to be their Savior as long as we continue to ask for it AND try to obey His word. He has granted us freedom from the ultimate consequence of hell because Jesus already served our sentence for us. In matters of this life, though, we still 'pay' for our sins. It may be in prison or by suffering the daily reminder of what one's sin has done to their kids or other innocent being. The effects of sin are all around us. Our extension of forgiveness to others allows them to see the love of God which opens up the possibility for a total transformation if they accept Christ as their Savior. It is not always easy. I also want to add that forgiving Michael Vick does not mean you have to 'like' him. Forgiveness is relinquishing any intentions to make them pay-letting go of the revengeful attitude- knowing that God is the judge and will do what He sees is best. Since you are not personally involved in this case, that is what He expects of you. But Vick may never be your friend! And that is OK. Love is choosing the highest good for another. You may or may not 'like' the person you choose to show love to. Love is an action that is done because it is the right thing to so. We can pray for justice as God sees fit and should-especially when hateful feelings arise. If Michael Vick truly repents-does a 180* turn and goes the other way- becomes a pit bull advocate or gives generously to shelters-is not that far better than sitting in prison hating the world and everybody in it? We love because He first loved us. And if not for that love-WE could easily be the one standing in Mr. Vick's shoes!

Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

I read your post this morning, and needed some time to reflect, becuase it angers me so, and hurts me so, and it felt really good inside when I read your post, but I didn't truly understand my feelings. I felt happy that you felt this way, but not sure why I did.
Thank you Patty for helping me to understand better.
Both of you have really helped me to open my heart. Thank you.

Pauline said...

Doody - good questions!! awesome answers have been given already - and I totally agree with what Patty put into words..

There's nothing like the truth of scripture - the first verse that pops into my head when I think of forgiveness is in The Lord's Prayer - 'Forgive us our sins, as we forgive others' theirs.' Matt.6:14

I see this is the scripture Patty mentioned as well :)

doodypops said...

WOW! Patty thank you! i am not an organized religious person, but believe in God's will and power. I went to Catholic and Quaker schools (talk about confusing) but never was explained 'forgiveness ' so well.
I don't want to be friends with Vick- I don't think i could. I would rather try for a meeting to expose him to proper dog ownership. i am not one to be dazzled by celebrity either. Which is funny b/c I have met several and the fact i wasn't dazzled led to open conversations (kind of like the cat blog article).
But I really wanted to let go of my constant anger over this, and not be wishing evil against another. Your explanation has really helped me understand. Thank you SO much!!!!!!!!!

AngelPups said...

Lori~ This is a wonderful, soul-searching, post..and I admit I am on both sides of the fence on this....I truly believe that forgiveness is the ultimate choice and should be the one we all make....but being human we sometimes allow our personal"worldly"
feelings to lead us. I admit, having worked in the prison system, the idea of Vick in a "prison camp" tells me he didn't suffer much...not in comparison to the suffering he inflicted. And being human, I hate that he has simply returned to his previous position as an NFL quarterback, earning the money that originally allowed him to finance a dog-fighting operation. I understand that he has done some "pro-animal" work, but I'm also under the impression that it was all part of his "rehabilitation plan" as part of his release. I resent that because he can through a football he probably didn't receive the kind of punishment that the "average joe" would have...and although I don't follow the news closely, I believe there were recent news reports that he still spends his time with the type of people he associated with during his "dog-fighting" days. I also resent the argument that he grew up with dog-fighting, therefore, didn't understand he was doing something wrong. I witnessed horrible tragedies and degrading situations growing up, but never did I assume that they were not only okay, but a way to make a living. If Vick is as brilliant as the NFL analysts would have us believe, then he had to have known everything he was doing was wrong.

That being said, as a human, I imperfectly judge him and will be judged myself because if it...But the true judge, Our Father in Heaven, knows Vick's true heart and will ultimately judge correctly. And therein lies my faith. If I am fortunate to make it to Heaven and Michael Vick is there, then I will know that I am forgiven for my thoughts on his behaviour and that God has judged his heart worthy as well! I only hope I don't end up like the noble in Hell asking Lazarus (Vick) for a taste of cool water from Heaven!! ;-) Absolutely wonderful, wonderful post!!

AngelPups said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doodypops said...

thanks angelpups!
I agree even growing up with know right from wrong if you have a good heart.
I wish he was using his millions to start a sanctuary....
It was one of the things that if i could wrangle a meeting I wanted to suggest.
All I can think is that this is in my mind so much for a reason, I mean i have a LOT other very serious stuff going on... but maybe I can help in some way????

Cody's Closet said...

Excellent blog and comments.

SassySashadoxie said...

Doody, I admire you for posting this and for seeking forgiveness in your heart.

I guess my thought is what is done is done. Meaning the dogs that were harmed have been helped the best way they could be by stopping one man from doing this to other dogs and getting the dogs involved out of the situation.

I am not sure how I feel about the man since I don't know him. I do know I don't like what he did at all.

I guess. I am thinking that forgiving is great, but even better would be to go out and help animals out of these situations by spreading the word against animal cruelity and abuse of anykind. Putting all the hate and anger into something postitive. Volunteer at animal shelters, give your furbabies a loving home, and teach the yunger generation to respect animals as living breathing furry little beings with sweet spirits are just a few ways I can think of at the moment.