As I prayed for the Church this morning, I sensed God bringing me peace for the first time in days. My heart is grieving over all of the issues that are happening within the church, but I am grateful that there is a little bit of justice and that the painful uncovering of infested wounds may begin to bring some healing.
At the same time, I am still seeing the re-victimization of precious women happening. They are shamed into being silent. They are told to put the past behind them; they are told that they are bitter for bringing up their painful stories of abuse and misogyny. It HURTS to watch. I have seen men praised, of whom I know personally, who have carelessly put women down a hundred times. Today, I noticed a grand tweet praising a seminary professor who went to school with me. I’ll never forget the day that he blew up at our theology professor because I received an ‘A’ on a paper and he received a ‘B’. I sat there, in silence, watching him. I was afraid because he was so incredibly puffed up as he told our professor that I only received an ‘A’ because he liked me and I played the piano. It was humiliating. I have seen people ask for prayer for the man who perpetuated abuse at my seminary . . . and very little asking for prayer for those who are victims of abuse (not to mention their children). I have seen outrage over the “ruining” of men’s careers when these very same men ruined lives. What about the victims?
I don’t understand why there are not more expressions of deep sadness over the lives of the victims. But, if I focus on it too much, I become deeply sad. And, while that fuels my fire to continue with our work, at Give Her Wings, it also takes my mind off of issues at hand, on which I need to focus.
While praying this morning, the stark reality of the fact that only God can change hearts has hit me, once again. People get caught . . . but it does not equal repentance. Not real repentance, at least. We see it all the time. I have seen cover-ups, back-pedaling and discrediting of truth-telling victims. These leaders are not changing their minds. They are not saying to themselves, “Oh my word. What have we DONE?!” No, power is a powerful addiction. Its the same old story that we see in the New Testament. The religiously powerful seem to always abuse. How many times did Jesus point out the down-trodden, oppressed, poor and weak as His rightful followers when they knew Him? Everything is always upside-down.
I cannot wait until Jesus makes it right-side up again. Come, Lord Jesus.
Seeds have been planted and the ugly has been exposed, but powerful men still love their power and they will not give that up so easily. Deep-rooted ideas connecting to poor theology about women are not going anywhere, anytime soon. And it aches to know that.
Women still have very little voice, when it all comes down to it. But here is my joy: Women have a great big voice with God. No powerful man can alter that truth. And that is Who I will go to. He sees, He knows, He is intimately aware of the thoughts of all men and how some of them denigrate and belittle God’s daughters. We are not at the end, yet. So, in the meantime, I am praying. I am asking God to continue to expose evil and validate victims. In the meantime, we will continue our work at Give Her Wings to help women who have been shamed, left desolate, in pain and unsure about whether or not they are in the Kingdom of God because of what churches have done to them. That is all we can do. Please support us. We need you, now, more than ever.