First and foremost, thank you to all of you who have read my blogs and my book, Homey’s Adventures.
I don’t know why, but I have always instinctively embraced forgiveness. When someone tries to hurt me; my instinctive response is to forgive and show kindness. I am not a coward. I am not afraid to get hurt. I have not hit anyone since third grade. When threatened, I will stand my ground. If someone else is threatened, I will put myself between them and the aggressor. Fortunately, I have not been hit or physically hurt since third grade.
I believe that God forgives us thousands of times for our sins. He commands us to forgive. We should forgive others because God forgives us. Loving others is not easy. In fact, sometimes it is the hardest thing for us to do.
I played the drums in a church band several years ago. In college, I played professionally in a rock band and it help pay for my college. I realized in high school that I wasn’t ever going to be good enough to be a professional drummer, so, I quit playing after college. Playing in rock band was a means to an end and not an end to a means. I could have never made $220,000 a year playing the drums, but I did achieve that becoming an Actuary.
In 2005, my ex-wife got me a new drum set for Christmas. I suspect she wanted me to develop new interests so that I would go out after work and gamble. She had no problem in spending my money on me. She did have a problem with giving me what I really needed which was love and affection.
I had a friend, Ted, from work who was a guitar player and led a church band. I asked him to come to my house so that we could play together for fun. I didn’t know it, but he saw it as an opportunity to audition me for the church band. After I played my rendition of “Wipe Out” which was originally put out by the Ventures in 1966, he asked me to join the church band. In “Wipe Out”, the whole song is a drum solo. I played it countless times in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I never played it the same way every time. My nature is to be creative.
A drum solo doesn’t make a good drummer. Drummers are to be heard and not noticed. Ringo Starr was not a great drummer, but he did have a great ear. He knew just what to hit at the right time to make the drums fit into the song. That is what a drummer is supposed to do.
At over 50 years of age, my technical skills were not what they used to be. Sometimes I didn’t blend in like a drummer should. Ted from work was replaced by a new church band leader. The new leader was a lot younger, and his name was Stan.
One day, Stan came to me to direct me: “I want you to not put any fills in. I just want you to keep the beat steady.”
Asking a drummer to not use any fills is the equivalent of telling him: You’re not good and you are not doing your job of being heard and not noticed.
Ted left the band before this happen and I recognized that the new regime had some younger drummers who could take my place.
I asked the new band leader to lunch and offered: “Can you get along without me playing in the band?”
He was hesitant: “Yes I think Joe can play more and fill in your spots.”
Joe was the younger brother of the lead guitar player that replaced my friend Ted.
I paid for Stan’s lunch because he worked for church and I knew that he didn’t make very much. In fact, after that, I had lunch with Stan every week and I paid for his lunch. I did this because I wanted my sweet revenge. Stan drove my friend out of the band, and he insulted my less than stellar playing. I needed to forgive him and show him kindness.
At one of our lunches, Stan was musing: “I would really like a new guitar, my old one isn’t as good anymore.”
Bingo! I saw my opportunity!
I still knew most of the band members. I started emailing them suggesting that we contribute to buying Stan a new guitar. I set a goal of raising $1000. We made my goal after I contributed $300.
My ex-wife complained: “Why do you want to spend your time and money on Stan? He forced you out of the church band.”
Like many times, I didn’t argue with her. She wouldn’t understand my need for sweet revenge anyway.
I asked one of the band members to present the gift certificate to Stan. I preferred to take out my sweet revenge anonymously. I never wanted recognition or even gratitude for my sweet revenge. I just wanted to forgive and love with kindness.
I had a calendar on my desk at work which gave me a loving thought every day. On one of days, a minister told of a man who help another man that was injured.
The injured man pleaded: “Please tell me your name stranger so that I can properly thank you.”
The giver asked: “Do you know the name of the Good Samaritan?”
The injured man said: “Jesus doesn’t tell us his name in that parable.”
The giver responded: “When you can give me the name of the Good Samaritan, I will give you my name.”
The whole point of the story from my calendar is that we should not love others to be recognized. We should love others for the benefit of loving ourselves.
A couple of weeks after my sweet revenge was delivered to Stan, he found out that I was behind it.
At one of our lunches, he looked at me seriously: “I found out what you did.”
“Really, what did I do?”
“You were behind the gift certificate.”
I sighed: “Yes, Stan, you uncovered my devious plot.”
I then told him about the message on the calendar on the desk and my desire to not be recognized for loving others.
He chuckled: “You must love yourself very much.”
“I try to do as God wants me to, Stan.”
“I wanted you to know that I got a guitar on my own before I got your gift. I gave your gift to a young aspiring guitarist that I know who needed it more than I did.”
Stan was the leader of the youth group for the church. I didn’t care that he gave it away because I got my sweet revenge.
If you want to learn more about Jim and Homey, then please visit my website http://www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters of my book for free. If you like what you read, you can buy my book there or on Amazon and many other book retailers. You can search for my book online using the words: “Homey’s Adventures” by Jim Wish.