My emotions are raw tonight. I feel tattered, bruised. There are over 1,000 innocent children who have come into the light as adults, revealing that which was hidden in darkness. A confession of sorts, but it is not the victims who need absolution and no amount of Our Fathers or Hail Marys will erase the dark blot of sin perpetrated by so-called men of God.
The Grand Jury released its report today, naming 301 priests in Pennsylvania who have been accused of sexually abused boys and girls in their parishes. Over one thousand boys and girls. This is unthinkable.
The live feed came across Facebook today as I sat at my desk and I allowed it to play in the background as I worked. But it could not, it would not, remain in the background as I heard the stories -- the horror stories -- of what happened to some of these victims. I heard of lives destroyed by these evil, evil men. And I wept. I wept for the children. I wept for the brokenness of the nation. I wept for God, knowing that many would place blame on Him, the very one who was broken and died for our brokenness.
And I wept for my younger self... the child I was before such evil befell me as an eight-year-old. No, it was not a man of God who hurt me, but it was a trusted neighbor. And my parents were oblivious as they left me in his care, as he molested, raped, and threatened me.
"If you tell anyone, you won't go to heaven when you die. You know that, right?"
My innocent little heart believed him. Heaven was conditional and I really wanted to go there someday. So my tainted lips were sealed. And my bloody underwear was buried underneath rotting tomatoes in the garbage can in the garage. My mother never asked what happened to the pretty white underwear with the yellow stitching.
And today, I wept. For strangers' children. And for the little girl I used to be. I haven't felt the need to revisit this part of my life in a long time. But today, uninvited, it covered me with its heavy cloak and at times I felt like I couldn't breathe in its darkness.
I don't have answers. Today, I just have an overwhelming feeling of grief.
Sharing my heart,
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