One of the great “advantages” of social media is that dirty laundry is so much easier to air. There have always been celebrity scandals, but they are much more accessible these days, and so much more satisfying than focusing on our own problems. Yes, celebrities are supposed to be role models and all that, but if you’re using that as the justification for your “righteous anger,” well, you’re gonna have a hard time finding a celebrity, or, you know, anyone, who never makes mistakes.
That’s probably why Matt and Cameron Fradd’s newest book is called Restored. This is a book that is hard to read, in a good way. It chronicles the suffering and wounds caused by sexual addiction and pornography. But more importantly, it chronicles the healing and restoration of these wounded families.
These are stories of survivors, not just of addictions, but betrayal by the ones they loved most. Our culture has a severe lack of strong men, and reading these testimonies reinforces the reality of that deficiency while women are left to pick up the pieces. But these stories highlight another reality too: that we’re all broken, and we all need forgiveness.
We’ve all messed up, some of us in bigger ways than others. Its one of the things that makes us human. So if we’re going to choose to love someone, we don’t get to just choose the happy times and the good qualities. We get the bumps and the bruises, and the failings too. But we love anyway. And although it may take awhile, we let go, even though the fellow human we love is guaranteed to fall again in some way or another, as we all are.
There are a lot of opinions about judging these days, when its appropriate, or when it isn’t, but one of our societies biggest failings is judging without love and forgiveness. As many women writing in Restored point out, this doesn’t mean blindly trusting those who have hurt you, but it does mean healing, both for the offender and the offended. The men in this book committed themselves to healing, no matter how many times they fell. That’s love too. Getting back up for yourself, for your family, and for God.
So whether you’ve been hurt, or you’ve hurt others (everyone qualifies for both at certain points in their lives), read this book. These are complete stories of love, not because the subjects are perfect, but because they have made the choice to love one another, even though they aren’t perfect.
Getting back to celebrities; even all these years later, people still go protest whenever Michael Vick signs a new NFL contract. This is a guy that messed up, went to jail, and missed out on the prime of his career. Can we leave him alone now? Yes, he did bad things. So did Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice. H.P. Lovecraft was a stalwart racist, Frans Schubert contracted syphilis and some of the folks in Restored cheated on their wives and families and objectified women. It wasn’t because they are evil, its because they are human, and humans aren’t perfect. Its not easy to love celebrities, these people who are supposed to entertain us and maybe make us feel better about ourselves when they mess up. But life isn’t about falling, its about getting back up, which is why Restored is such a great name for this powerful tome.
This is a book which gives witness to freedom, and we all desire that, but not the freedom to just do whatever we want. This is true freedom, to choose to love and forgive. Even if you’re not dealing with the same exact issues depicted here, if you need to forgive, read this book. If you need forgiveness, read this book. Let the testimony of the fellow fallen give you hope for your future, strength to repent and recover, and hope to be Restored.
You can purchase Restored here: http://shop.catholic.com/restored-true-stories-of-love-and-trust-after-porn.html