The fire storm has lead to plenty of discussion, and what I have walked away from almost every encounter with was a profound and deep sadness over the deep injury that has been wrecked upon more than I would have ever imagined. The field is littered with bodies of not only women, but even men who are some point in their life have been inappropriately taken advantage of in a sexual manner. It's not a new thing---the stories are legion for young and old alike who have been scarred. The strong taking advantage of the weak is as old as the beginnings of time.
Why now has it come to light? Somehow the barrier of shame has been torn down and the cleansing has begun. We didn't talk about these things most of my life--the shame of allowing an incident to happen always sat squarely on the shoulders of the victim. As if somehow we could prevent a stronger, more influential, more powerful, and sometimes dearly loved attacker from making their lewd advances. Silence came from shame---the victim was the one who bore the mantle of shame and sadly--the attacker walked away with no consequences to strike again. The mantle of shame is heavy and can only be stripped away with the admittance of what happened. With time, the mantle becomes part of the daily uniform one would never walk out the door without. Shame is a powerful emotion that influences the vision we have of ourselves. It influences each and every relationship in our lives. Until it is stripped away, we are never free from the burden of self condemnation.
Thankfully many are being released from their burden of shame by coming forward and shouting, "Me Too". Perhaps social media is not the best place to release the mantle, but better there than never. At some point, one must face what happened, lay the blame with the perpetrator, and walk away free from the shame of something you had little or no control over. Swallowing the lie that somehow one is complacent becomes a chronic life altering weight. The worst part is telling the story the first time. When one sees they are not blamed or loved any less, the path to freedom begins. With freedom from this unmerited shame, life begins to be lived with greater joy and renewed purpose.
SHAME on those who cross the boundary of decentness and take advantage of another by forcing uninvited advances. There is NO justification under any circumstances for refusing to acknowledge, "No". There is NO SHAME for the innocent victim --and hopefully freedom from this lie from Hell will lift-----when that first step of telling someone,
is taken. And the best news I have for those who have been victimized, Jesus is in the business of redemption and restoration. He WILL deliver us from our distress!