Keep your face always  toward the sunshine — and shadows will fall behind you.

-Walt Whitman

I walked out into the sunshine this morning.  The thermometer said 31 degrees, but it felt like spring.  I closed my eyes, turned my face toward the east, and soaked it in.  It felt like a feast.

He walked out of prison, off of death row, where he’d lived from age 29 to 59, sentenced to die for someone else’s crime  He looked toward the sky, considered his fate, and said, “The sun does shine.”

I’m listening to a book recommended by Jess, my colleague and fellow slicer.  It’s haunting.  At once heartbreaking and hopeful,  each session makes me face that tension between what’s wrong with our country and what’s right with some people; what seems challenging in my life and what’s truly challenging in others; our thirst for punishment and our need for mercy.

Stories like Anthony Ray Hinton’s need to be told and need to be heard.  They are the sunshine that reveals our flaws, the sunshine that heals our wounds, the sunshine that feeds our soul. In all ways, they are the sunshine our country needs.

8 thoughts on “Sunshine

  1. I’m so grateful to have someone to talk about this book with (along with other big topics). You captured my own response to reading this book and the thoughts that continue to linger even after finishing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After hearing Jess talk about it, I’ve added it to my list. The story reminds me of the book Why Forgive – a book of stories by people who were wronged and yet managed to forgive. I love your last paragraph on the role of sunshine and agree people, communities, and our country need this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I come away with these words “our thirst for punishment and our need for mercy” ringing loud and true. So much to say about the wrongs done … the scope and scale of them… yet in its quiet way, mercy is greater. If we would have it, we must give it. It is hard to be vindicated when being vindictive. Beautifully written. Let the sun shine in.


  4. This slice punched me right in the gut. I was not expecting this story, but now, I’m curious and want to know more about his story. My favourite line: “They are the sunshine that reveals our flaws, the sunshine that heals our wounds, the sunshine that feeds our soul.” This reversal, this exposing the darkness to light in which the darkness is the light – wow. I love everything about this deep but brief slice. Thank you for this wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

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