Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’
I have a collection of journals in my closet. Up until the last 10 or so years, I journaled to Jesus about life, the universe, and everything. While I’ve tried to continue that, it has been much more sporadic, especially since having kids.
Yet I know my history is kept up there in the closet.
I do not know if I kept the journals from my first year of theology, when the abuse happened. It’s possible that I threw them out, not wanting to have any memory of the vile grease left. But it’s possible that they are still up there.
I know I need to get a chair (being short) and reach up and take those things off that dusty shelf, and glance through them to see if the record of it exists in my own archives.
But I don’t want to.
I don’t want to reread the humiliation. The loneliness. The confusion. I don’t want to read about how I thought it was true friendship, that it was a good thing. I want to shake that girl who thought she saw kindness and tell her, ‘it’s a farce! run away while you can!’
But I can’t, and it pains me greatly to think how easy it was to trust in kindness. And it saddens me greatly that I can’t trust in kindness. Because I know firsthand how kindness can be a sinister deception. That kindness, instead of being the soil in which to bear the fruit of friendship, love, trust, and good works, is instead a puss-filled infection, breeding grounds for festering greed, self-indulgence, powerlessness. But it looks exactly like kindness.
And now it’s my job to go back into that wound; to cut open the scar and painfully prod into the flesh, searching for that poison. Searching for evidence of it, looking for how it got there and analyse what can be better done to prevent it from happening again. The wound might need to be put on display, so others also can analyse its corruption.
I don’t want to be here, remembering. I have been plucked from my life as a herdswoman and dresser of children. This is not where I would choose to be, but I know it is something I am being strongly called to do. There is still an infection, and it is crippling the church. The red, swollen skin is nearly pulsing with filth, evidence of both people’s denial and of Satan’s work.
How much further will the red, inflamed lines stretch across the body of Christ before the infection is dealt with? Who else is in the silence, who was either intimidated or told their story doesn’t matter? Their experiences are cells of poisonous bacteria, keeping the infection alive. Their story must be listened to, acknowledged, and then something must be done for the reparation of sins.