Sometime The Hating Has To Stop

Forgiveness is what we need when we are facing a problem in relationship with others. This story will show you how powerful forgiveness is in providing peace and resolution in a bad relationship : 

Eric Sutherland Lomax was a British Army officer who was sent to Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in 1942. He was forced to work by the Japanese on the Burma-Siam Railway. In 1943 he and five other prisoners were tortured by the Kempeitai and convicted of "anti-Japanese activities" after a clandestine radio was found in the camp. He was transferred to Outram Road Prison in Singapore for the remainder of the war.

In 1945 he returned to Edinburgh to a life of uncertainty, following three and half years of fear, interrogation and torture as a POW in the Far East. He had no self-worth, no trust in people, and lived in a world of his own. He often had a fantasy torturing his enemies. He got a trouble with his first marriage.

After his retirement in 1982, he started searching for information about what had happened in Siam. The need to know is powerful. In the course of his search he learnt that Nagase Takashi – his interrogator and torturer – had offered to help others with information. He learnt that Nagase was still alive, active in charitable works, and that he had built a Buddhist temple. 

Lomax was sceptical. He couldn’t believe in the notion of Japanese repentance. He strongly suspected that if he were to meet him he’d put his hands round Nagase neck and do him in.

In 1987 Lomax came across The Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture. For the first time he was able to unload the hate that had become his new prison. Later he married a young woman who helped him to recover.

Seeing the change in him, his wife wrote to Nagase. The letter Nagase wrote back was full of compassion, His wife ask Lomax to meet Nagase. First time he refused, and then agreed to meet Nagase, but to kill the tormentor.

The meeting took place in 1998 in Kanburi, Thailand. When Lomax met Nagase greeted him with a formal bow. Lomax took Nagase hand and said in Japanese, “Good Morning Mr Nagase, how are you?” Nagase was trembling and crying, and he said over and over again: “I am so sorry, so very sorry.” Lomax had come with no sympathy for this man, and yet Nagase, through his complete humility, turned this around. 

In the days that followed they spent a lot of time together, talking and laughing. It transpired that they had much in common. They promised to keep in touch and have remained friends ever since.

After their meeting Lomax felt he’d come to some kind of peace and resolution. Forgiveness is possible when someone is ready to accept forgiveness. Some time the hating has to stop.

Eric Lomax passed away on 8th October 2012