Earlier, I posted about the reconciliation between Alex Grenier and his parents. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before — reported on a situation that has a positive outcome. The thought of restored relationships after years of harm makes me cry. This has been so amazing. When I first got involved with Alex’s story and then formed a group to work on the “Who Would Jesus Sue” campaign to bring media attention to this story nearly 5 years ago, I don’t think I ever expected to see such a positive outcome. My thoughts were that hopefully Alex would win the court case, but I don’t think I ever imagined that something this beautiful could have occurred.
Alex is my friend. We have many things in common, and I love him like a brother. After he lost the first couple of rounds in the court process, I saw him change. I saw him go downhill spiritually and emotionally. He was angry (and rightly so). The new Alex was more cynical. I saw close his circle of friends get tighter. He became serious and driven, and he had to do things his own way. There were several friends I know who remained steadfast in their support of him, even though Alex sometimes lashed out.
About 6 months ago, I noticed a change in Alex. He wanted to prioritize the important things in his life: his family, his business, and I think it was around this time that he also wrestled with his God. For me, it was difficult to observe this long process over the years. I was watching the fruit of what happens when someone is harmed. We all know it can happen, but when you have been closely connected to someone, the sadness is real. You know there’s nothing you can do except continue to extend love and grace. You just hope and pray that your “brother” will get it all figured out. Alex is one tough dude and I knew he’d have to get hit hard (because he and are so alike). The nearly five years of legal battles, and all of the emotional and spiritual strain in his life, left him spent. He was done. And apparently, it was in this place where Alex was humble, and was able to find truth, love, and healing. I love you, Alex. I think this is your life verse, literally:
I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7
Alex has released more information about the background of his recent reconciliation with his parents on his Facebook page and gave me permission to share it with you.
Many of you have been praying for him and for a peaceful resolution for the lawsuit. The story of abuse by Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia was not just about Alex and his immediate family. The abuse extended to staff members and people in the church. As I said earlier, this reconciliation and restoration of relationships is a process, and it appears that Pastor Bob Grenier is making efforts to do that.
The understanding of “what happened” that Alex and his parents have now, will be different in a year after trust has been proven over time. But what I do see here is a sincere and heart-felt effort to seek understanding and to have humility from both Alex and his parents. Folks, this is a beautiful thing to behold. Let’s continue to pray for Alex and his family.
When Alex shared his note on Facebook, he also shared his father’s note with it:
To any and all. You are invited. Please come and rejoice with us on this special evening.
Note from Alex Grenier to His Facebook Friends
My parents and I have reconciled. This will be hard for some on both previous sides to understand, but it’s happened and is real. It’s a messy human situation that cannot be unraveled perfectly and what I’m learning about Reconciliation and Forgiveness is that it can’t be and doesn’t have to be. I know I did a lot of things wrong, for which I’m sorry and apologized and received forgiveness and I forgive for the beefs I had.
We were raised “old school” by our Marine father who saw combat in the jungles of Vietnam. He was raised “old school” by his dad before him and repeated the same mistakes. Times are different now, we as parents and as a society have learned from past mistakes and we do things much differently today. He has apologized to me and I forgive him.
Having said that, I want to correct the record on the two other major issues: CC Visalia was investigated for financial issues and came out clean and actually received a good report from Detective Haney who specializes in those issues. Some of the info I had received was incomplete, some lacked context, some was true but differing opinions of how money should be spent and some info was recanted by others and false.
The most serious issue was my brother’s molest accusation. He has fully recanted that accusation and I now believe the recantation after getting much more of that story. Our dad forgave him for that claim, that is remarkable. My parents love him and have acted like good parents in helping him after-the-fact. He was not bought-off as was cynically speculated by yours truly, for which I apologize for jumping to that overly-jaded conclusion.
I spent a few days with my parents recently, the long battle has taken quite a toll on them. It actually breaks my heart now and I have a lot of regret for going after them as I did. I wanted “justice!” and they suffered way way too much and for some major things they didn’t do.
My dad, Bob Grenier, is reaching out to some of you to extend an olive branch to make peace as he offended you over the years when he was your pastor at CCV. He is sincere. He walks with a limp now from this long tough battle, as I do. He is an old man who God has humbled as God has humbled me. He wants peace and no more wars. I am of the same heart and mind. Those of you who were blogging against him, I know you were angry and hurt, as I was at one time. Forgiveness is righteous and good for the soul.
Not every relationship has to be reconciled, but I now understand the importance to Forgive quickly and to Repent quicker. Anger, unforgiveness, negativity only breeds more of the same. It took me down a terrible path. I repent of that.
May we forgive as we all require much forgiveness. We are all the Prodigal, we are all the Pharisee, we are all the Tax Collector, we are all the Roman soldier driving the spike into the hands of Jesus. We are all the victims and we are all the perps. Peace, Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and Reconciliation….that is the heart of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.