“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. ” – Proverbs 3:5
Hey ya’ll! Hope you’re all staying safe during quarantine and I pray you won’t have the urge to assault those around you. Whether family is cutting the last nerve in your brain or the insane person in the store who’s still coughing without covering their mouth, don’t kill them, now is not the time for a charge! So, last week, I did a thing… finally made a video about my experience with sexual assault as child. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for about a year or so and thank you to those who’ve watched and sent encouraging messages and starting conversations about this topic.
While doing the video and even years before, I used to ask myself, “if God cared so much, why didn’t He stop it?” How do you respond to that? especially when it comes from someone else. How do you respond to someone who scoffs at the idea that God is all powerful and loves us incredibly when they ask, “where was His love when I was raped, abandoned or abused?” Throughout the last couple of years, questions about God, sexuality and sin were thrown at me at a rapid pace. The whole time, I was hoping one question, in particular wouldn’t be thrown in my face by someone else…and it did! Of course it did otherwise there’d be nothing to write about!
Let me reiterate, if you didn’t get it by now, I wasn’t prepared for this question! A former coworker of mine and I were having a conversation about God and attending church, the things we loved and laughed about, church hurt and why people leave. She then shared her reason for not attending church anymore; being that she was touched inappropriately during her time there. She hadn’t been back since. It was surreal to imagine being in that situation and as she detailed her thoughts, honestly, I couldn’t blame her for not going back.
Little did I know that she’d ask the one question I hoped I’d never get and sure enough she starts firing off more, one after the other about God’s justice system and His validity. I wait, to see if she was just getting things off of her chest or if she actually expected an answer, while her eyelids transition from nonexistent into a half drawn gaze. I decided the silence was a pass to provide an answer to explain God’s love for her; but the tangled mess of trying to explain that just because He didn’t stop it from happening doesn’t mean it was in His will for her was too much to try and throw at her as response.
Before I could form some sort of miraculous answer that’d help patch up her trust in God, she came back with another question, ” If, there is a God, why would He allow so much pain and evil in the world?” The only thing that could manage to say was, “free will.” As I start to explain the principle of free will to her, she cuts me short by uttering, ” I know, I was a minister!” I responded abruptly with , ” I’m a minister too!” And there we both stood, looking at each other, equally shocked, believing that the statement would show validity in our stances. We had been working together for some months and although we casually chatted about both God and church, neither one of us shared this information with the other, but this moment was slightly tense and entirely ironic. Two women, close in age with similar cultural and religious backgrounds, experiences with sexual assault, both worked as ministers in the church with two different conclusions.
Continued in part 2!