In 1990, Fr. Michael Lapsley, an Anglican priest active in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, opened a letter bomb that nearly killed him. Though he survived, the blast took both his hands and one of his eyes. This memoir tells the story of this horrendous event, beginning with the journey that led him there - particularly his rising awareness of the radical demands of the gospel and his growing identification with the freedom struggle. But that was not the end of his inspiring journey. In post-apartheid South Africa, Fr. Lapsley saw a whole nation in need of healing. He discovered a new vocation: drawing on his own experience of trauma to promote the healing of others, in South Africa, and ultimately throughout the world.
In 1990, Fr. Michael Lapsley, an Anglican priest and monastic from New Zealand, exiled to Zimbabwe because of his anti-apartheid work in South Africa, opened a package and was immediately struck by the blast of an explosion. The bomb suspected to be the work of the apartheid-era South African secret police blasted away both his hands and one of his eyes. His memoir tells the story of this horrendous event, backing up to recount the journey that led him there particularly his rising awareness of the radical social implications of the gospel and his identification with the liberation struggle and then the subsequent journey of the last two decades. Returning to South Africa, Lapsley saw a whole nation damaged by the apartheid era. So he discovered his new vocation to become a wounded healer, drawing on his own experience to promote the healing of other victims of violence and trauma.
Not quite three months after Nelson Mandela was freed from Robben Island in 1990, Anglican priest and African National Congress chaplain Lapsley opened a letter sent in the mail. The bomb in it blew off both hands, sent shrapnel through his body, and destroyed one eye. Around the world, agents of South Africa's apartheid regime were settling scores with anti-apartheid activists. Lapsley was lucky. Though severely injured, his mind and tongue remain intact, producing this most amazing memoir of a man who writes he "has never made a distinction between human liberation and my Christian witness." Lapsley's personal journey mirrors that of his adopted country. Within three years of his attack, Lapsley opened the doors of The Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, in the "new South Africa," and launched a global Healing of Memories program. The book's final section highlights stories from this work, from Rwanda to Northern Ireland, from Colombia to North Carolina. With dry, self-deprecating wit, Lapsley treats readers to an emotional, gripping tale of a priest, his prosthetics, and his promise, as St. Teresa of Avila put it, to be Christ's hands in the world. (July) 2012 Reed Business Information
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