“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
It has been a few weeks since I wrote to you. Collecting my thoughts and sitting back with a heart that sees has been very important to me.
I think so often we make hasty moves when emotions are high and injustices are great.
Over the last few months, I have watched as our lives have been turned upside down.
Everyday tasks have been replaced and what seemed normal has somehow gone to the wayside.
Normalcy is often something we cling to for a sense of security but what a great deceiver normalcy is.
We can look around at the landscape of our lives and think to ourselves…
What is real?
What is true?
And we are confused.
We are mad.
We are spinning into a place of chaos that seems to be moving at a rate that no one can stop.
Oh, where does it all end?
AND one of the things I have come to realize about this landscape is we really do not have a heart to hear.
We do not have ears for one another.
We like debates.
We need to right and we need to loud.
We rarely take the time to understand and listen.
I have been guilty of all those things and I am sure you can say you have as well.
AND the irony for me is I have been the recipient of closed ears.
Oh, how quickly we often forget when the roles are reversed and we feel justified in our positions.
I started this blog months ago to have a place to share my story about the spiritual abuse that I endured at the hands of my old churches.
I coded names.
I did not share the church building location.
I wanted to tell my story and not just out the people whom I was speaking about. Yet, it became obvious to people who still attend those churches what I was speaking about.
I read passive aggressive Facebook posts by current church attenders accusing me being negative and lying.
One of the very people who did all the abuse actually had the audacity to write that I was a broken person and that he prays I find Jesus’s healing in my life.
I was unfriended.
I was lied about behind my back.
I tell you all this for one reason and one reason alone: we have to stop revictimizing victims.
Racism is real.
Abuse is real.
Power really does corrupt people no matter how well they start.
And people are being hurt – lied about – trash talked all for sake of covering up the real injustices that are happening.
You want proof – watch the Jeffrey Epstein special on Netflix. EVERY single one of those women was revictimized by the system, the lying politicians who benefited from Epstein’s actions and all for what – money? Power? Position?
We seem to have found ourselves in place where we would rather close our ears to injustice and allow those who harm other people to stay put. AND so much it roots back to power. Who has the power? Who is controlling the shots?
I know this firsthand. The pastor of our last church who spiritually abused me and many others is still pastoring a local church. He still counsels’ people on marriage despite the great damage he has done. He still lies about people and he has a whole church congregation behind him applauding his behavior.
Our first pastor is still in his position despite the fact that he bullied people, cared more about numbers than human beings and became so shortsighted that all he saw was more campuses and more money.
People assume I lie.
People assume that others who have experienced the same thing lie.
They believe that these pastors would never do what I have shared. BUT the truth is they did. I never lied. NOT a single ounce of what I said was a made-up story.
AND this same scenario is true of racism. Of sexual abuse victims. We want to turn a blind eye. We want to place our heads in the ground like an ostrich does when he believes his life is under attack. IT is so much easier to live with the rose-colored glasses of ignorance.
BUT the more we do. The more we revictimized people the hotter the anger burns.
AND we desperately need a heart change. We need to start believing people when they say, “this happened to me”. We need to start listening. We need to stop being ignorant to all that is going on around us. And we need to start holding people accountable for the hurt and destruction they are causing in other people’s lives.
I have always believed this to be true: “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
I refuse to be silent about my experiences all because it makes a few people uncomfortable. I also cannot let my own imperfections be the reason I do not share.
So often perpetrators (and those who follow them) often turn on a victim and use the flaws in their life to distract from the perpetrator’s actions. It is easier to silence the victim than deal with the injustice.
AND I realize it starts with each of us. I will not profess I understand the depths of all that is going on in this world. BUT I am sure willing to listen.
I know what is like to not be believed. Or treated as if this was not a big deal. I have sat in those shoes and it has taken me years to piece through. To understand and find my own heart of compassion.
Racism is horrific. We were all created in the image of God period. END of story.
Abuse is awful. No one should have to live through manipulation, gaslighting and then watch as their perpetrators get away with it.
AND if we are going to make a dent in change, we are going to have start being real with what we value and who we protect.
WE HAVE TO LOVE PEOPLE. PERIOD.
And part of loving people means we listen, we seek to understand, and we stop allowing hate, unkindness, injustice and ignorance to rule.
We must value people above positions, above money and personal gain. Or even our own personal comfort.
AND until that happens – we will watch as our cities fall apart. We will witness anger. Hate and corruption. We will scratch our heads at what is going on, but the truth is – this happened slowly. It burned over time. Each time a victim was silenced. Each moment an injustice was swept under the rug. THAT is why it looks like it does.
We need to want a better world for us now and for the generations to come. Now is the time more than ever to value people. TO love them. AND not allow people who do not value people to remain in their positions. We desperately need to Jesus to change our hearts.
I for one am saying – the buck stops with me.
I cannot profess that I will be perfect or I will make all the right decisions but I am sure going to try and listen. To understand. AND just simply value people.
Won’t you join me?