Last night I was standing in Black Bear, waiting for friends to arrive. I look up at the plasma TV, and across the bottom I see "Michael Vick signs 2 year contract with Eagles".
I couldn't believe it. I started to curse like a sailor, while frantically typing on my iPhone texting my friends the news.
Everyone knows that I love animals. I grew up with every animal imaginable, thanks to my kind hearted sisters who worked at the local Veterinary hospital. You name the animal and there was a good chance that my sisters were rehabbing those hurt souls back to health, and often as a younger brother, I was curious and helpful to do my part, too.
Suffice to say, the signing really bothered me.
But I was raised a Catholic, and to this day I consider myself a spiritual, if not practicing, person. As much as I don't talk about God on my blog, my religion is and has always been a big part of my life, as a guiding force for many of my decisions and foundation to the man I am today. I don't claim to be Mother Teresa's Brother. I'm a man. A man that makes mistakes and a man that has sinned and repented for my own actions, if minor, in God's eyes over the years.
Michael Vick made a mistake. A terrible one, to helpless animals. I won't sit here and try to defend Michael Vick. Part of me, like many of you, are angry about what he did, and that's normal to feel that way.
But emotions aside, I turn to what is written in the Bible often for guidance. Just a few quotes that I think are apt in this situation:
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Michael's actions are his cross to bear for the rest of his life. To me, what he does off the field will determine if I forgive him. But I am also someone willing to give someone a second chance. If Michael is truly repentant for his actions, then he will prove to us that he deserves our forgiveness.
I'm still not happy about this situation. I would rather he wasn't on the Philadelphia Eagles. But I am also willing to see if he turns his life around and does the right thing to repent not only to God, but to society, for his past transgressions. He needs to prove to all of us that he is absolutely sorry, and will be a role model for the Humane Society. If he does that, I think most people, but not all, if you are religious or not, are willing to forgive him.