Warning, I’m angry! Heard another story this week of yet another young woman trying to deal with the memories of abuse suffered at the hands of people she should have been able to trust as a child. (There are too many stories, and yes, I know it’s not just women telling them).
A long time ago, I watched a friend’s child have to testify in court against her step dad for his crimes against her humanity. I will never forget. As a naive Christian (I’m still a Christian, but hopefully less naive about the reality of evil and of people making really sucky choices and doing awful things to each other all over the world), I was left appropriately speechless. Pat answers, platitudes, and cliches come up pretty coldly empty at that point. What do you say in the face of evil?
The only hope I could find in that moment grew into the poem below….
The night is dark and stormy
There’s a cold wind in my soul
Seems like I’ve been torn apart
And never will be whole.
The suffocating weight that rests
Upon my broken heart
Holds me in my silence–
Lord, when will the healing start?
I cast about in frantic hope
That there might somehow be
Someone who can reach out
To break these chains and set me free.
But who can know the torment?
Who can really comprehend
Unless they too have been betrayed
By loved one or by friend?
As I cower in desperation
And in fear of what shall be,
A picture comes to mind
I know that you have given me…
I see you hanging on a cross
In agony betrayed,
Naked, torn and bleeding
So that we can be saved.
The one who lived and walked with you,
With whom you shared your soul
Was the person who betrayed you—
All my agony you know!
(Please do not misunderstand my point….I am not in any way trying to trivialize the suffering, grief, betrayal, rejection and incredible damages done by people who do this stuff! I am only trying to say it’s OK to be really honest with the rage, anger, pain, betrayal and that, since God knows what you’re thinking anyway, talk to Him about it. Jesus also was betrayed by someone He had shared life with. Don’t let the abusers win, and destroy you. Your life is worth more than that!)
“We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality….Take the mercy, accept the help.” (Hebrews 4:15-16 The Message).