It’s because my daughter told me a story yesterday about an older boy who insisted on touching her back to “help her” up some stairs at school. And he continued to do it after she told him she didn’t need help.
It’s because there are men at the church I serve who insist on hugging me, even when I strongly place my hand in front of my body, offering the universal please-shake-my-hand signal.
It’s because I can’t get the foggy yet completely clear memory of that terrible night all those years ago out of my head these days, well now, each day as another abuser is publicly named. I see them on TV. I hear them in my newsfeed. I’m so wildly proud of these women coming forward. And yet, it also means all my stuff is coming up. My silent stuff. The stuff I won’t ever name or share because I tell myself my stuff is different than their stuff. But really because I’m just not ready. Even after years and years.
It’s because sexual assault and sexual harassment have been an acceptable part of our culture, our politics, our churches, and our schools for so long, that this wave of revealing, of sharing, of naming, feels overwhelming. Necessary and important, powerful and about damn time, but also overwhelming.
And as the news channels and political parties decide which bodies and rights and reputations matter, and as hearings and elections are held and policies and legislation are proposed, so many of us are sitting here in these pews, and standing in these pulpits, with our experiences and histories and emotions and skin crawling out and off and onto the floor. And we are a mess and it’s not gonna stop or go away or be quiet. Not this time.
And the church isn’t great at talking about this. We’re pretty terrible at it, really. So, I sit here with my wounds completely exposed but also still hidden, and my heart racing and my voice wanting to scream, and I want to know if the church will show up. If she’s got anything to say now. Now that everyone else is talking about it.
Will she? Will we?
This Pastoral is Political was written by a RevGal who chooses to write today anonymously.
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