Last night, I sat under the stars with a favorite friend, one of the “Queens”, and soaked up the sweetness of her buzzing splashing fragrant garden.
I also soaked up a glass of wine and gobs of laughter and life. So very good.
Saturday had been devoted to knocking out spring cleaning. It was gratifying to have finished the window and floor-washing weekend including a short Pho break with Katie and the kids.
This morning of lounging late under the covers as the sun and prisms drew colors on my walls was well-planned and anticipated. Lounging. Coffee consuming. Reading. The fruits of a good weekend’s work.
Foolishly, I checked the news between starting the coffee and crawling back into the nest of pillows and covers.
Hellooo cold clamminess.
Was it the FIFA scandal? War? Greed? Revelations that a shiny public family was complicit in withholding appropriate truth-telling and care about sexual abuse? Yeah. It was probably that.
I ended up numb. Trembling. What do you do when numb and trembly? Google answers!
I googled “rape church silence why”.
Rape. Church. Silence. Why.
It could have easily have been “rape community silence why” or replace “school” and “regiment” for “church”.
Again, I read how backwaters of people from various religious faiths (and people without religious conviction) don’t see rape as a big deal or marital rape as an issue. I wonder how many of these people would race for their AK-47 to protect their property, but stay silent on protecting their PEOPLE.
Yep. I’m talking to you.
My coffee got cold.
My heart got hard again.
My jawline set and even under the sun-dappled covers, my posture was protective, alert.
I wrote a private wondering – another hidden document where I can just barf out all of the hurt without hurting others -innocents. It included this:
Why dad? (he was not the perp)
Why were your hopes and reputation more important than my…than our lives and well-being?
After all of the hard long-years work of forgiveness and ongoing work of healing and discovering a new normal, this stuff still hurts.
It hurts us – not just the torn and bloodied, but the community in which it happens.
Fortunately…fortuitously I stumbled across a rare wisdom grown in faith; one of the few truly transparent, un-bullying, unafraid, unapologetic, cut-to-the-core with reality and addressing-it voices in Boz Tchividjian (one of Billy Graham’s grandkids). He is the founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment).
He doesn’t ask what we were wearing, whether we were pre-pubescent seductresses/seducers, or if the truth will make the faith look bad.
In “Righteous reputations of churches that don’t care“, he expresses a sincere concern for the bloodied – both the victim and the community – and offers insight into how the church can do better (abandon wishful thinking perhaps). Nor does he bash the perp, but he does call out some of their greatest dodges in “A grand deception: the successful response of sex offenders“.
I haven’t cried. Yet.
Frankly, I’m a little angry that this monster finds new ways to visit.
Who doesn’t want to be “normal” shiny and effervescent…wanted?
I am not a woman who enjoys making people uncomfortable.
But, folks, we need to get uncomfortable.
Our comfort allows us too much wishful thinking.
Our comfort shields us from the fractured blown up bodies and lives of people living in personal or public wars.
The hungry are easy to un-notice.
The mentally ill are too easy to flee and ignore.
Unlike the man in the video above, you don’t have to know the pain to help heal it.
Our assumptions and judgments
our closing of the ranks
our worry of what others will think
and potential exposure…
They are small things compared to the people who are left
abandoned in the sewers of human brutality
often shiny and “respectable”
popular and warm-fuzzy-giving
money and favor-donating environments
just as in poor
of war and hungering nations
To turn away is wishful thinking.
And it is killing our most vulnerable members
it is killing us.
What can you do?
What can we do in this short life that can feel like a personal eternal hell for the abused?
I don’t know.
Start somewhere. Google it.