3:45 Dead on Arrival
My mama invited me to hear a motivational speaker at an event her employer was hosting. I went without any expectations, but within minutes was blown away. Inside the nearly two hour talk, I learned a lot about Kathy Buckley, and surprisingly a lot about myself.
In her own words, Kathy went through “one hell after another.” She was born deaf, suffered molestation as a child, got run over by a truck, and was declared “dead on arrival” in her twenties. With the hardships she faced, no one would blame Kathy for being bitter. But here’s the thing… she isn’t. She is charming, funny, and spends her days motivating crowds to embrace forgiveness and live a life of gratitude.
After explaining how she forgave her father for unspeakable trespasses, Kathy asked why we are all so quick to focus on negatives in both ourselves, and those around us. Her father is flawed, but she chooses to embrace his good. Kathy preached the importance of celebrating the beauty and embracing the positive in our loved ones.
In the last year I endured the dissolution of a friendship with a girl I considered family. When I pushed to understand why my friend seemed distant, she began reading a list of my flaws she had been keeping track of in a notebook. After a few minutes of listening to her read the list, I stopped her and we have not spoken since.
For months I was sick. Wracked my brain thinking about what I could have done to make a friend feel the way she felt. How could I have made my love any clearer? And then on my pilgrimage to Israel, after meditation and prayer, I was able to very clearly see the good in my heart and find peace with myself. Hearing the powerful words of our Lord, I came to understand, in reality the list my friend wrote had very little to do with me and very much to do with her. None of us can truly be at peace when we spend time focusing on the negatives in others.
Kathy’s speech reiterated the responsibility we all carry to stop picking at disabilities and flaws and instead shed light on the beauty inside of our friends and inside ourselves.
Love is not about celebrating perfection. Love is accepting a flawed human and declaring, “I love you DESPITE your brokenness. I love you maybe even because you are broken.” It is in this way we spread peace. Through embracing differences we will let our inner light shine.
Thank you mama for bringing me along to experience such an amazing night. And thank you to Kathy Buckley for fighting the good fight and spreading the good word.