Faith inscription on a granite block

Judy and I have watched the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams for several years. It was our 6:30 ritual before eating. We were listening the night he spoke about not being completely truthful about an event in Iraq in the beginning of that conflict. I guess we thought, “That happens.” Only later did we come to realize how his retelling the story over the years repeated something that was not true. He was wanting to magnify his involvement in a dangerous situation, and mislead all those who trusted his reporting to be honest. At a time in his life when he was among the giants of trusted media commentators, Brian Williams was shamed into accepting 6 months of his not anchoring the nightly news. It may be that he won’t return. How do you regain the trust of your listeners once they know you have stretched the truth in your reporting? It is so sad that very good people, beloved by their colleagues and friends, can find themselves wounded by a few incidents toward the end of their career. That is “what happens” We have made mistakes. We have done things that we are ashamed of. All of a sudden, what may have seemed to be private becomes public. We are not the persons we seemed to be. We have “sinned”. We have to live with that shame the rest of our lives. “Brian Williams did not tell the truth about his being under attack in a helicopter during the Iraq invasion.” Forget the thousands of hours and evenings when his reporting of the news was respected. He is a wounded man. Terry Hershey writes a weekly blog, “Sabbath Moments”. I recommend it. The week after the news about Brian Williams’ incident, his blog was titled “We are all Wounded Healers.” One of those wonderful coincidences. Henri Nouwen’s book, “The Wounded Healer”, has been a treasured book from early in my ministry. It is a reminder that all of us have been broken in some way. There are parts of our lives that are flawed and imperfect. We live with regrets. I think of the Leelenau County teenager who was responsible for the death of two people in a reckless car episode. If others will forget, he won’t. The grace of God deals with our woundedness. What cannot be “fixed” can be forgiven. What cannot be hidden can be healed. What cannot be changed can be used in the service of others. The embarrassment of our sin and woundedness can be humbly used to share in the woundedness of others in a world that is broken. We are not alone. To rephrase Paul, “All are wounded and fall short of the glory of God.”

Robert McQuilkin, Author