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john lennon, yoko ono, and a theological comment

Yoko Ono is in the news, calling for December 8th to be a day of worldwide healing. December 8th was the day John Lennon was killed while walking in New York. Here’s the article from the Washington Post:

John Lennon’s Widow Calls for Healing
The Associated PressSunday, November 26, 2006; 2:38 AM

NEW YORK — Yoko Ono is calling for the anniversary of the death of her husband, John Lennon, to become a day of worldwide healing.

In a full-page advertisement appearing in Sunday editions of The New York Times, Ono urges readers to mark the anniversary by apologizing to those who have suffered because of violence and war.

“Every year, let’s make December 8th the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable,” writes the former Beatle’s widow, who signs the letter Yoko Ono Lennon.

Ono urges readers to take responsibility for failing to intervene on behalf of victims around the world.

“Know that the physical and mental abuse you have endured will have a lingering effect on our society,” she writes in a portion of the letter directed to victims. “Know that the burden is ours.”

Ono was with Lennon when he was gunned down as he returned home from a recording studio on Dec. 8, 1980. The shooter, Mark David Chapman, remains in New York’s Attica state prison. His fourth request for parole was denied last month.

Of her own loss, Ono says: “I don’t know if I am ready yet to forgive the one who pulled the trigger. … But healing is what is urgently needed now in the world.”

“Let’s wish strongly that one day we will be able to say that we healed ourselves, and by healing ourselves, we healed the world.”

My thought …

We need worldwide healing but it will not come as a result of our ability to “heal ourselves.” Even Yoko herself admits to being unable to forgive the man who killed her husband. That’s nothing: there are still people who refuse to forgive Yoko Ono for breaking up the Beatles!

Humankind has advanced mightily in the last few centuries. Science, technology, conveniences, medicines, breakthroughs. Our cars are faster and lighter. We have a longer lifespan than Benjamin Franklin ever imagined possible.

Yet one thing still dogs my progress: me! With all of our advances, we haven’t been able to eliminate bitterness, envy, malice, greed, anger, abuse … and I could go on but you get the point.

I agree with Ms. Ono that the world needs healing but I disagree as to the source of that healing. Here comes my theological bias … true healing is not possible without the reconciling power of God. As long as people have a rift with their Creator, they will be in conflict with his creations.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc says:

    Good points- makes me think of the most recent profound thing I read which was an interview with Thomas Keats, who champions ‘contemplative prayer’- one of his points was that this time of stillness with God provides a fertile seedbed for the fruit of the spirit to sprout- and my experience has been that it’s easier to create a positive than just eliminate a negative.