In 1987 Terry Waite, who was sent as the special convery of the Church of England, travelled to Lebanon to help free western hostages. However he was betrayed by a ‘contact’ and Terry was himself taken as a hostage by the military group known to be Hezbollah. He was held in solitary confinement for nearly 5 years, most of the the time chained to a wall.
His story of his captivity and how he had to endure 5 years of almost confinement would make you believe he was bitter about his experience and on being betrayed. Yet this has not been the case and he has used his story to spread the messages of forgiveness and the weakness of the terrorists. He is a testament of sheer courage and of integrity of a unassuming man, who has no self pity whatsoever or condemnation of his captors. What I found truly incredible was that during the 5 years of captivity, Terry said he was able to find compassion for his captors.
The reason I wanted to share this story of sheer strength and courage was to emphasise the way in which Terry Waite used forgiveness as a poweferful tool against his captors. He is a humble yet a truly brave man of our times and his quotes on forgiveness is what leaves me utterly astonished but truly inspired. The way in which expresses no malice or hate in what he experienced can not leave you anything but enthralled.
Anyone who can overcome such a traumatic phase in life should be held in the highest of regard.
‘Sometimes the wheels of justice grind slowly.’
‘The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately destroys those who practice it. Slowly but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies.’
Today Terry continues to carry on with his humanitarian work. He is the President of YMCA’S international charity for development and it’s relief agency. He is also a patron of a number of charities including Able Child Africa and Habitat for Humanity Great Britain. He also works very closely with homelessness charities in the UK and had used his platform to speak on motivational talks on his experiences.
‘In the end love and compassion will win’. Terry Waite.
The Politics Pill.