“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realized, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn’t sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it’s all you’ve got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.” –Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
I just deleted four or five paragraphs of my own ruminations on this quote. After writing them, I went back and read the quote again, realizing that I’m ruining the beauty – like a curator overexplaining a painting, draining it of any personal meaning. So I hate to even try to expound on the beauty of this quote and will just let it stand on its own beautiful merit.
Matt Conner is the teaching pastor at Trinity Church in the heart of Indianapolis and the founder of Analogue Media.