I’ve heard a lot lately about ‘Karma’ and ‘people getting what they deserve’ after a recent heart break and bad break-up of one of my children. Their friends feel strongly about it. It’s a comforting thought for the bad things people do – to think that they will get what they gave. But that’s not really what Jesus wants us to do. He wants us to do the HARD thing of ‘forgiving’ and not judging. Which, in the end, truly does help the aggrieved person to forgive because it loosens the binds formerly held on them.
But what of people who do bad things and are NOT sorry at all for them. People who are self-absorbed and only worry about their own feelings without empathy or sympathy for others? Will “Karma” really get them? Or, as my brother-in-law Billy says in his East Texas accent, “What comes around, goes around.” Does it really?
I want to include a spooky story in this blog post where it does. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did.
The following story is an excerpt from a book where the guy is telling the story of the spooky show he watched on TV as a boy called ‘Night Gallery’ which focused on the dark closets of the human soul. One particular story stayed with him (as it does with me now!) and I will tell it in quotes straight from the book:
“Josef Strobe is a Nazi war criminal hiding out in South America-Argentina, I imagine. In spite of his cruel and evil past, his deepest longing is simply to be a fisherman. His history haunts him, forcing him to live in a world that is dingy and bleak, a vivid contrast to his opulent life while in power. Always afraid of being caught and constantly on the move, he is a different kind of prisoner than those comrades who were captured years before and condemned for their crimes against humanity.
He stands in front of a beautiful painting of a fisherman in a small boat drifting serenely on a still mountain lake, imagining himself as the man in the boat, free from all the problems that he has created for himself. Josef is drawn to the painting over and over again. He asks a forgiving God to give him another chance, a chance to survive, but in truth is asking God to absolve him from his sins while he abdicates all responsibility for his actions.
As he dreams of being the man in the painting, he wonders if, by concentrating all his mind and all his desire, he could enter that picture, leaving behind the life he has created to enter a life he could only dream of. It’s clear, though, that Josef has never known contrition. In the midst of his anguish, he runs across a Holocaust survivor who recognizes him as a former guard. Josef kills the Jewish man and tries to escape by leaving town.
Instead, he is captured after some tense moments. He escapes and sneaks back into the museum, rushing toward the painting that holds the world he longs to live in. It is dark not only from the lack of light but from the ominous presence of the moment. He prays to God to allow him to enter into the painting, then suddenly disappears. Rushing into the room seconds later, a security guard and a museum official hear muted screams where Josef had stood. The picture of the mountain lake is gone, and the curator explains that the painting of the mountain lake was a loaner. In its place hangs the image of a man crucified in a concentration camp. Slowly the camera scans to the picture, and we realize that Josef has taken the place of the person who was crucified. In a twist of irony, Josef Strobe has found his way back to the world he created.
from Erwin Raphael McManus’s book “The Artisan Soul” “Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art“- btw, I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to all artists of any religion. It is spiritual at times but mostly inspirational and though provoking.