A time to speak…

It’s an ugly time to be an American.

In many ways we are experiencing what our society at large has asked for…

…no consequences…

…no shame…

…no truth…

All the “free love” of the 60’s is now the cheap love of today, and if you ask me, we deserve to be slogging through the pig sty we’ve made of our spacious-sky country.

While I make it a point to steer clear of online political commentary, we all have our breaking points. I can’t be silent any longer, because in my humble opinion, these two presidential nominees are both abominations. One stands by and enables a pedophile and rapist. The other speaks words that tear and dehumanize the most precious and sacred parts of a woman.

My first novel, How Sweet the Sound, is a modern day re-telling of the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13. Tamar was raped by her half brother. Her father, King David, did nothing. And Tamar spent the rest of her life ostracized, condemned, untouchable.

Not much different from the way sexual sin plays out today.

On the one hand in Tamar’s story (and that of the character Comfort Harlan in my novel), there’s the act of the rape/incest itself.

On the other, there’s the silence, the refusal to acknowledge the lifelong devastation of rape and incest, and the refusal to stand up and speak out against it as well.

As a survivor with years of healing work behind me, I struggle to this day to know which is worse.

Today, my heart breaks for my country, which is so broken, so annhilated by sexual and moral sin, we are now faced with our current leadership predicament.

This is what happens when people do and say nothing about power hungry people who hurt the small and voiceless.

This is what happens when people are more concerned with saving face than with the life of another human being.

This is what happens when all we value is what feels good and we no longer care about what is right and what is good and what is true.

I have spent over a decade speaking and writing to survivors of sexual assault, rape, incest and molestation. I have spent over a decade watching the tears run down the faces of women, beautiful, precious women, who have had the parts of them created to love trampled by people who use them for macabre prowess, for humor, for sport. And I have spent my whole life dealing with the lingering effects of that abuse, too.

I’m not writing today with political answers.

After all, that’s not where the answers are.

The answers are in the hearts of good men and women who, rather than remain silent, choose to stand with survivors and speak out…

…in the voices of brave hearts who say loud and clear that at the very least, sexual innuendo, misconduct, disrespect are wrong, and that we will not tolerate a culture of rape, sexual abuse, molestation and incest in our world, our country, our states, our neighborhoods, our churches, and yes, even and especially in our homes…

…in the arms of those who will embrace survivors and say to them, “I believe you. I see you. You matter. You can heal. And you are beloved…”

…and in the healing grace of God.

I’m so tired of this season in our country.

While I don’t have political answers, I do have prayer.

And I have hope.

How Sweet the Sound is set on a pecan farm in southeastern Alabama. As Comfort says,

“Even as the pecans drop all around the trees, I am sure there will be a spring–sure as I am that the branches will once again display the splendor of their journey through rock-laden soil and torrents of storms because of the beckoning sun. Because of the rains that soak them. Because of the hands that turn the soil.”

 

The only political stand I am taking is that both of these candidates are sick and wrong.

The only thing I endorse today is freedom for survivors held captive by the groping hands, the words, and the silence of twisted people who were supposed to be trustworthy.

The purpose of this post today is to SPEAK  for those who feel they cannot. 

As a nation and as individuals, we can stay in the pig sty we’ve made for ourselves, or we can leave the muck behind us and run toward goodness and grace.

May November come and go swiftly.

And may the Lord have mercy on us all.

summer truth rising. a poem. 

HEAT.

rising with the sun

then

PRESSING

hard

against my heart. i STEP

hesitant

on the newly mown 

grass, the FOLDING and BENDING

of each FRAGILE strand

crisp then 

cool

between my toes

too long stuffed in winter

shoes, each step 

FREEDOM,

the bright red of the trumpet

vine SCREAMING

with the release of

TRUTH.

every stamen stretching,

reaching 

for

HOPE.

Ere I knew Easter

Bunnies, eggs, chocolate.

Wooden crosses, nails, blood.

The dichotomy between the events of the first Easter and what society has made it today couldn’t be wider.

But our Lord is bigger than commercialism. 

He’s bigger than bombs and terrorists and politicians and governments.

Now more than ever the world needs to know THIS:

If He could break through death, He can certainly break through to our hearts.

And so this Easter, if you’re struggling with current events, loss of a loved one, discouragement, or pain, know that Easter is much more than a jelly beans and plastic grass. It’s much more than a fancy new dress and patent leather shoes.

The rush of blood from His pierced side covers you.

The thrusts of thorns upon His head paid for your pain.

The stripes on His back mark your salvation.

And the best part? 

His Kingdom has no end, 

knows no bounds, 

dries all tears, 

rights all wrongs, 

pays every debt, 

silences every lie, 

stands for every truth, 

hears every cry, 

eliminates all pain, 

cures all disease, 

embraces every vagabond, 

magnifies every overlooked, 

calms every fear, 

takes every burden,

and makes everything new.

Easter for you, and for me, is freedom.

Life.

VICTORY.

Praise the Lord, He is risen, indeed!

Have a blessed, victorious Easter, dear friends!