Michael Jace is an actor who, as of this writing, is in the news. Jace was convicted of murdering his wife April. Jace shot his wife three times, once in the back, while their small children were in the vicinity. According to media reports, Jace shot April during an argument where she was threatening to divorce him and (possibly) get full custody of their children.
Jace did not have a significant career. He was a bit actor, getting roles here and there, and apparently his career was generating little money, which was a source of significant tension in his relationship with April.
Michael Jace was sentenced to forty years to life for the murder. Below is a photo of Jace, from the website TMZ.com, taken during his criminal proceedings. I’d like you to consider this photograph for a bit of time. What comes up for you as you look at it?
The public response to Michael Jace has been quite one-sided, and quite condemning of him. Some of the responses have been hateful, some have been racist, some have called for Jace to be killed and / or brutalized while he’s in prison. A very few have been sympathetic to Jace.
Here’s something interesting about the Michael Jace case: it is contradicted completely by A Course In Miracles teachings. According to A Course In Miracles the Michael Jace case is illusory; it is not real. Why?
Because it contradicts the will of God.
The foundation principle of A Course In Miracles is, what opposes God’s will is not so; it is not real. It is not God’s will that there should be loss, suffering, and death. What seems to express loss, suffering, and death, therefore, is false.
Does the case of Michael Jace, and his wife April, express loss, suffering, and death? Certainly so. Then it must be unreal because God’s will cannot be overturned.
Readers may be offended by this. They may consider it insensitive and uncaring of April, and the Jace children. Readers may consider April a victim, murdered by a man who wasn’t meeting his responsibilities. This sentiment, you can be certain, has been expressed by many who are aware of this case.
And sentiments like this are a self-inflicted trap: they reinforce the notion that we are different from God’s creation of us, that God’s will has been overturned, that the world of lack, loss, suffering, and death is our reality — instead of the reality that God intended for us.
The Michael Jace case is an example of how incredibly difficult forgiveness can be. Forgiveness, as defined by A Course In Miracles, is to not accept as true what opposes the will of God… no matter what our judgment tells us.
Again and again and again, over and over, when our judgments and the will of God are in contradiction we accept our judgment as truth — and cast the will of God aside. According to A Course In Miracles we are lying to ourselves when we do this and are, within our perception, keeping ourselves separate from God which is the definition of Hell.
The path from Hell, the way out, is to stop accepting as true judgment that says God’s will has been overturned. A Course In Miracles calls this forgiveness. Can you do this regularly?
Can you do this when faced with something like the Michael Jace case, or something that’s even more personal to you?
It can be extremely difficult to do. I struggle with it myself…