I watched The Oprah Show yesterday afternoon. It was painful and liberating at the same time. It was living proof of the enemy's aim to "steal, kill and destroy", but an even greater testament to the power of our God, whose Spirit lives inside us, and strengthens us with the knowledge that we can do all things through Him. No matter what has happened to you, it doesn't have to crush you, or become a noose around your neck.
As I watched, I was thinking that her audience of 200 men could be replicated in cities and churches all over the country. There's so much pain, confusion, and dysfunction that people carelessly and callously visit on others, and leave them helpless; struggling to overcome.
I wondered, as I always do when the topic is "children", "Where were their parents?" Oprah repeated, "You don't know what's worse. The abuse, or not being believed..."
There was talk about the way dysfunctional people manipulate others to love, trust, and revere them. It was so difficult to watch, yet I sat there feeling respect and admiration for the men who had somehow found a way to rise above the horror, reclaim their dignity and self-worth, throw off the shame, and survive. I even saw two friends in the audience, and wondered how many other friends could have been sitting right there with them.
Too often parental responsibility and culpability are glossed over in discussions about everything from poor academic achievement to abuse. Nothing, and no one-- no opportunity, material thing or person is worth not being aware of, and protecting the well-being of your children, and hearing what they say--verbally and non-verbally. What pained me is that anyone would know that a child was being abused, but stay silent. Whatever a parent is doing, where ever a parent is going, that keeps him or her from being consistently engaged in the life of their child, is one activity too many. Any gains in our lives can't be at the expense of our children.
It is hard to see a grown man cry, but not discouraging. I hoped that each tear shed would be cleansing and healing to them.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 came to mind: "The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride."
I sat down and began writing after the show ended. I just wanted to celebrate truth, and the power to confront what one needs to confront in order to be whole and healthy.
People try so hard to bury the truth
They've tried for years
But what they don't know
Is that truth has the power to shine
Wherever it is
People try so hard to cover their tracks
Crown horrid things with pretty names
Truth comes along
And exposes the fact that
This thing, and that
Are exactly the same
Its a frustrating, futile game
To expect Truth to change--
To conform to our ways
To confuse Good and Bad
To explain Evil away
It's not okay
Just not okay
Truth is waiting
With righteous might
Will you give Truth a place
To make wrong thoughts, places and spaces right
Will you let it stay?
Or stubbornly say, No!"
And let it walk away?
Will you let truth walk away?
Or will you, too, be brave
And allow it
And all of its light