So much of our media conversation these days is about sexual abuse and assault. The church is not immune from trauma. These things are not foreign to many of us at St. Paul’s. If we had a “#metoo” moment where folks stood up in church to witness to their abuse, many of us would be standing -- both women and men.
How do we understand what has happened to us? And if we have been perpetrators of such harm, how do we reconcile with it?
For both perpetrators and victims, the church is a place for healing. We understand that God’s grace is able to heal and restore us. Tapping into our spiritual place in the center of God’s love moves us from brokenness to wholeness. But it is not easy, nor is it quick.
I experienced sexual trauma as a child and so did my brother. One of the most healing things I've experienced has been entering into the “MeToo” conversation with others who have suffered. Laura Landgraf, a survivor and author, wrote some helpful advice in the Huffington Post: trust yourself, especially that younger self that experienced the abuse, listen to what your feelings and “triggers” are telling you. Allow yourself to feel and tell the story to a trusted friend or counselor. Your history does not define you unless you let it.
Jesus encountered a woman after sexual trauma. She had been pulled out of bed and dragged through the streets by a gang of men ready to do violence to her. Jesus had compassion on her. He held the men accountable - reminding them or their own culpability and humanity. Jesus restored all of them to a common way of being at peace together. This is our role as disciples as well. For Christians, #MeToo is an invitation for healing together.
--- Pastor Rebecca
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.