Those of you familiar with me or my story know this: at five, two neighborhood boys spent their free time abusing me. Under trees. In their room. In ravines. In parks.
I’m grateful, so grateful, that I don’t suffer flashbacks anymore. I’m glad their yearlong actions no longer inform how I live my life. They tried to break me, but Jesus healed so many broken, awful, raw places. They meant harm, but now I’m free.
But sometimes, like right now, I think about where they are, how they are, what their lives are like. I’ve spent fruitless time on the internet trying to track them down, half from curiosity, half from pity. But I can’t quite find them. Which is fine by me. It’s not like I’d want to email one of them and say, “Hey, do you remember the year 1972? Remember our neighborhood? Remember me?”
Because what good would that do? Would it bring closure for me? Probably not. Because if statistics are correct, they will have never been brought to justice. They could be hiding this secret their entire lives. They could be tortured. Or wildly successful. They could have families. They could be perpetrators. They could be liars, or as honest as honest can be. They can be politicians, school teachers, gardeners.
A part of me does want them to remember what they did, if only for the purpose of realizing their own depravity and seeing their need (as I’ve seen mine) for a savior. And if statistics play out, the reason they perpetrated is probably because they were perpetrated against, which means those boys (now men) need deep, cleansing healing. In every possible way.
I do pray for them. I do think about them. But not with an ache for myself. I ache for them. For the men they’ve become. Perhaps they are haunted.
Perhaps they are reading this post right now.