I’m grateful for the staff at Leadership Journal who took down the sexual predator post yesterday. I’m humbled that I could lend a voice to this conversation, helping others see a victim’s perspective, and the mindset of some sexual offenders (that tend toward sociopathy and narcissism).
I’m grateful for their appropriate apology.
I’m grateful that many, many lent their voices to this conversation.
And yet, in some ways, I’m discouraged. Because this amplified just how little we talk about sexual abuse and its sheer and steep damage it enacts on a life.
Folks, hear me when I say that this issue should no longer be silenced. We need to dialog. We need to stand up and call it what it is: evil. We need to dignify victims with their terrible stories, listen intently, pray fervently, and advocate for a freer world where children do not need to fear youth pastors or pastors or priests or uncles or aunts or __________.
I understand well why Jesus said these words: “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
Jesus advocated for the innocence of children. He admonished us to become wide eyed like them. He gave the stern warning above to those who harm them.
Today, honestly, I’m just tired. I thought of children swinging on the swings of our neighborhood park, and I thought, When have I played? When, if ever, have I been a child? I have been an adult since way before when. Some days I just want to run into a field and twirl all around, Fraulein Maria style, and finally, finally feel free of the scourge of sexual abuse.
Perhaps someday. Perhaps tomorrow. Perhaps next weekend.
Or perhaps I will walk with this limp, never a child, always an adult, to remind me of the pain, to keep me empathetic with those who have experienced this trauma. So I can stand up, put a holy stake in the ground and loudly declare, “THIS IS ENOUGH. NO MORE. SEXUAL ABUSE IS EVIL AND WE WILL DO EVERYTHING TO STOP IT IN OUR GENERATION.”
I yell those words, but I feel small. My voice cracks. The evil cackles loud. But one small light (mine) mixed with your light and your story and your bravery and your outrage–all these lights permeate and pierce the darkness. And this light WINS. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5, NLT)
So, Leadership Journal, be one of those beacons of light. What has been done in the darkness has the potential to be spotlighted by your platform. I’ll hold my candle.
Who will join me?
For those of you wanting to help sexual abuse victims, or if you are one, here’s a resource page that might help get you started. Some of you may know that I wrote, crowdfunded, and published a sexual abuse recovery book this year entitled Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse. Learn more about that here.