Meet Csanad Szegedi.
I know, looks hard to pronounce. Actually, it’s a Hungarian name.
I can’t say he’s one of my favorite guys.
He has been one of the leading figures of the far-right Jobbik Party, and he is well known for his outspoken anti-semitism.
He’s publicly blamed the Jews for ruining his country. It’s been part of his platform. He has been overtly anti-Jewish for years.
That is, until he discovered that he is one.
I guess in Hungary it is not uncommon for people to keep their Jewish heritage private. Well, a year or so ago, someone finally told Szegedi the truth: He’s Jewish on his mom’s side.
Yep, his grandmother lived through Auschwitz. His grandfather died in forced labor camps.
Apparently, Szegedi is still reeling from this revelation.
At first he resisted. He tried to bribe someone to keep the info from getting out, but it did. Now he’s been dumped by his own party, and is being asked by them to relinquish is role as an EU representative.
His whole life has turned upside down.
This week, amazingly, he went to visit a rabbi. He apologized for any offensive comments he might have made.
He vowed to journey to Auschwitz and experience his family’s history.
Can you imagine? A man who actually founded an organization that hearkened back to pro-nazi groups, now facing the rest of his life as “one of those” people he had previously detested. (You can read the whole AP story here)
What an amazing about-face. Reminds me of Paul.
Paul (Saul) starts out as a vicious hunter of Christians, until an intervention on the road to Damascus causes him to do an about-face. The rest of his life was spent promoting the very religion he once persecuted.
When we say somebody’s “seen the light”, we’re referring to Paul’s incredible transformation.
Will Csanad Szegedi see the light? Will he ever become a Jewish activist? Stranger things have happened.
They may even happen to you.
Maybe you’ve been loving alcohol or drugs or pornography instead of God. Maybe you’ve been hating your body instead of loving it. Maybe you grew up hating a certain group of people. Maybe you’re running from God’s call in your life.
Maybe it’s time to turn around.
Sometimes it happens slowly, and sometimes all at once.
For Szegedi’s sake, and yours, and mine,
Let’s just pray God’s light shines…
On our about-faces.