I attended a funeral recently. The deceased, Jack Fichtner, grew up in the harshest of circumstances. His father was an alcoholic who gambled, raged and impoverished his family. As a child, Jack was intimately acquainted with poverty and violence. Beaten regularly by his father, Jack knew little protection or comfort from his mother. Yet, his fondest childhood memory was of one of the few times he could recall his mother holding him. This occurred after his father had beaten him so severely that he should have been hospitalized. Strangely, Jack remembered this with fondness because, although wounded and traumatized by the beating, he was comforted by his mother holding him.
Born into a house of violence and neglect, the Jack spoken of at his funeral was very different from the environment in which he grew up. His six children, their spouses, and his 18 grandchildren were there, grieving for him. His widow of 59 years was there, lost without him. The stories told about him were of a man who loved, was fun, guided his large family, and gave generously to those he encountered who were in need.
Jack had plenty of demons from his past, fear being one of the largest. Yet, he overcame fears and rage to love and to give in this world. And he did this by surrendering spiritually.
Complete spiritual surrender. In his case, to Jesus Christ. “The notion of releasing our power of choice to a Divine force remains the greatest struggle for the individual seeking to become conscious,” writes spiritual teacher and medical intuitive Caroline Myss.
Jack’s childhood was one of complete powerlessness to horrific forces. His early adulthood was a struggle with that powerlessness and his own search for power. In his early 40’s, he surrendered to his God. And then, despite some ongoing fears, he was able to love and be loved, to give generously, and to find contentment in service to others. Because of this spiritual surrender, Jack was able to find joy. And beyond joy, he found a sense of purpose and usefulness in giving to others.
He found this abundance in spiritual transformation. Like him, we are all wounded, and feel our limits deeply. This grace and freedom is available to all of us, if we simply let go into the divine.Transformation is our for the asking.