In 1977 at the age of 14, Sokreaksa “Reaksa” Himm saw 13 members of his family murdered by Khmer Rouge soldiers in the Killing Fields of Cambodia. Sokreaksa, along with his father and brothers were dragged to the edge of a mass grave and slashed with machetes and clubbed with hoes. Having been left for dead, he awoke in the grave in a pile of my dead and dying relatives. He was able to climb out and hide in nearby weeds when the killers left to get his mother and sisters. He watched from the bushes as they were murdered. He writes, “As the soldiers threw dirt on the people who were my entire life, I swore revenge. I was alone, hungry and scared and in the coming weeks I made my way across the jungle, avoiding soldiers by day and sleeping in trees by night to escape roaming tigers. I eventually found my way to the “safety” of a succession of refugee camps all the while planning and plotting the deaths of the men who murdered my loved ones … The anger against the killers was as great as the grief for my family and it burned inside me like a great ball of fire. For years I cultivated elaborate fantasies in which I tortured and murdered the killers again and again, projecting all my rage and pain I bottled inside myself in my plans for what I would do to the men when I found them. I realized that I would never know true peace until I had dealt with this as well.”
How would you respond? How do we respond when people wrong us.