Watching Oprah’s Master Class program, I thought, “Celebrities?  Trying to be teachers?  Yeah, right!”  So as I settled in and saw Jane Fonda’s image flash across the screen, I felt my arms folding and my mind closing.

I’ve always had a bone to pick with Jane Fonda.  Not that she’s lost any sleep over it, I’m sure.  But I’ve always thought of her as Hanoi Jane, the traitor who posed for a picture with the Viet Cong while our soldiers were fighting and dying in the Vietnam War.  Their sacrifice was the reason she had the right to say and do any darn fool thing she wanted.  Her right to express herself was absolute.

My forgiveness of her actions was not.

But what Fonda said on Oprah’s show really was wise.

“Muscles build from stress,” she said.  “After they tear, it takes 48 hours for them to keloid and then they turn into muscle.”

Life is kind of like that.  We struggle and hurt, and eventually heal and gain a measure of strength.

Tearing and repairing.  I’ve done a lot of tearing at this woman I don’t even know.

I’ve also said, “You should not be judged by the worst day of your life for the rest of your life.”

So how could it be I was unable to forgive this celebrity that had no connection to my life?

I was so set in my opinion that I believed it was a fact.  I don’t know why she posed for that fateful photo, but I know she regrets it.  That will have to be enough.

Tearing and repairing.

And in the end, it wasn’t even my battle.  I was mad at her for something she’d already apologized for and made it my job to act as judge and jury. Even if I don’t know all the particulars, she’s still a child of God.

Enough with tearing people down.  On to the business of righteous repairing.

God bless all of us who have made a mistake and hope for a second chance.  I’m pretty sure that includes everyone in the world.