Actor and comedian Jim Carrey made a special guest appearance at a job training agency for former prison inmates and he took the opportunity to share about the forgiveness and salvation of Jesus Christ.
Speaking to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated individuals, Carrey this past June shared suffering but that suffering, in turn, could lead to salvation at Homeboy Industries, an agency that provides job training, goal planning, and GED services to former inmates.
“This room is filled with God and you are heroes to me,” stated Carey to the former inmates, both male and female.
When you decided to come through these doors, and become a part of this family (at Homeboy Industries) you made a decision to transcend and to leave the darkness behind,” explained Carrey. “It takes a champion to make that decision.”
Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles was founded by The Rev. Gregory J. Boyle and is one of the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world. A native Angeleno, Father Boyle entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984.
Jim Carrey isn’t known for being outspoken about faith, but spoke as an advocate for the organization and clearly understood the role faith plays in helping formerly incarcerated individuals get back on their feet.
Carrey went on to say that he’s had challenges in the last couple of years himself and was inspired by the way those in the program have overcome some of the toughest challenges. Though life often meant suffering, suffering, in turn, could lead to salvation. He said that we all face suffering on different levels at various times in our lives.
“We have to accept and not deny (our suffering), feel our losses. Then we make one of two decisions: to go through the gate of resentment which leads to vengeance, which leads to self-harm, which leads to harm to others or we go through the gate of forgiveness which leads to grace.”
He said the presence of those in attendance was an indication that they had made that decision already and chose to walk through the gate of forgiveness and grace just as “Christ did on the cross. He suffered terribly and was broken with feelings of doubt and absolute abandonment. He said Christ then had a decision to make. That decision was to look upon the people who caused that suffering with compassion and forgiveness and that decision was what opened the gates of heaven.”
Carrey admitted his own struggles and pain, though concluded many of those hearing him speak had suffered much more and he admired them for it. He said that we get up in the morning and open our eyes and the show begins, it’s a thriller. “Every action affects everything else and when we devote our energy to doing right, we are shining forth God’s love.”