Magazine article Anglican Journal

Michael

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Michael

Article excerpt

IT WAS SUNDAY evening. The House of Bishops was gathering for its fall 2011 meeting at Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre in Niagara Falls, Ont. Standing in the dining room, I caught my first glimpse of Father Michael Lapsley, an Anglican priest from South Africa who had been invited to lead us in reflection on the nature and work of reconciliation.

Michael has no hands. They were blown off when he received a letter bomb in Zimbabwe, where he was living in 1990. He also lost an eye in the attack and suffered significant hearing loss.

Michael described his journey from victim to survivor to victor--a movement from horrific physical and emotional pain to months of rehabilitation, and finally to living life "as fully and joyfully as possible." Through the many messages and assurances of prayer that he received, he "felt loved by the people of the world." He expressed deep gratitude for the many notes from Canada and especially for a collection of pictures painted by children from North Bay in Ontario. "The walls in my hospital room," he said, "were papered with love."

In the course of recovery, Michael had to discern the nature of his priestly vocation for the future. …

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