Healing without Hands: When a Letter Bomb Changed His Life, Fr. Michael Lapsley Found His True Calling

By Sison, Marites N. | Anglican Journal, February 2012 | Go to article overview

Healing without Hands: When a Letter Bomb Changed His Life, Fr. Michael Lapsley Found His True Calling


Sison, Marites N., Anglican Journal


AN ANGLICAN priest and social justice activist from South Africa has urged faith communities in Canada to "seize the moment" and take an active part in the public hearings of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The experience will be transformative and "life-giving," says Fr. Michael Lapsley, executive director of the Institute for Healing of Memories (HOM) in Cape Town.

Acknowledgment is "a key first step to healing," says Lapsley, who knows personally about facing "the horror of what happened" and moving from being a victim to becoming a "victor."

In 1990, while he was living in exile in Zimbabwe, a letter bomb sandwiched between religious magazines blew up in his face. Lapsley lost both his hands, the sight in one eye and a significant amount of hearing.

To this day, he insists the experience was redemptive. "I was prayed for. I was loved. I was supported," he told the Anglican Journal, adding that he learned that to get beyond mere survival, you have to transform pain into compassion "for others who travel similar journeys."

Lapsley, who was born in New Zealand and ordained to the priesthood in Australia, visited Canada last November at the invitation of the diocese of Edmonton. He also travelled to Niagara Falls, Ont., and met with the House of Bishops at its fall meeting. Following this, he met with staff at the United Church of Canada as well as staff at the Anglican Church of Canada, both in Toronto. All wanted to learn from his experience in healing and reconciliation.

Lapsley, who arrived in Durban, South Africa, in 1973, at the height of apartheid, says he dealt with his own "white man's guilt" by becoming one of apartheid's most prominent critics. When he was expelled in 1976, he went to neighbouring Lesotho, where he became chaplain-in-exile for the African National Congress. After returning to South Africa in 1992, he worked with South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and became chaplain of the Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town.

Lapsley says that those who suggest victims should just "get over it and move on" must realize that healing is a long-term project. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Healing without Hands: When a Letter Bomb Changed His Life, Fr. Michael Lapsley Found His True Calling
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.