I have been writing a lot about believing women these past few weeks. If we did, there is a lot we would not be facing right now that is so tragic. Christine Blasey Ford is an example of a voice that came forward in a moment it was needed knowing it would be torn apart because of timing and all the circumstances involved in the situation. She did it anyway, and Kavanaugh was still given a seat. Now he (Kavanaugh)is being looked again and we are learning there are questionable things that went down with Justice Kennedy’s retirement leading to the Kavanaugh nomination. The USA Women’s soccer team has done everything a hostile crowd asks for when people demand to be paid equally and fairly (and given the same quality equipment to work with as men) but through their own fight having all the credentials and awards to back them up, what is revealed is none of that is what matters. Power is not interested in equality for women or any marginalized life. It wants to profit off them without complaint, not uplift them and rejoice with them (or cry). USA Gymnastics girls held in their pain believing their abuse comes with the territory of winning had no voice until Larry Nassar was caught. Larry Nassar was the nicest person in the community to the girls and he was sexually abusing them. Verbal abuse is abuse too–their coaches. Also, denying food and overworking them is physical abuse. This is happening in so many sports because our love of winning surpasses love of life. Several gymnasts are finding some semblance of healing finding out they are not alone in their pain and Nassar and USA Gymnastics are finally being held accountable. I love how Jamie Dantzscher says she can now say she is a proud Olympian and US gymnast. She did not feel proud when she was one because of all the shame and abuse. Heartbreaking, but the abuse did not get the last word. Praise God. Truth will set us free.
Why does it take so many voices who have been hurt to be believed, though? I hear the cries of everyone asking why their voice is not enough by itself. This is why so much abuse goes unreported. No one believes victims and they are often blamed. Spiritual abuse on top of the physical abuse.
I think back on why I am here. I got my feelings hurt this past week with an assumption made about me that surprised me and shook me up a bit. I am still processing this. But I remember this: the Trump phenomenon is what made me realize women being silenced in church and government is what has led to massive abuse. I was undone by how little so many people cared about abused women and children–women being some of the cruelest. They would yell about abortion and go stone-cold silent on this topic. This has only gotten worse, not better. But one thing that has changed is I am in seminary because of it. I have to remember this when I feel shook up. God cares about this. My therapist also tells me this: I care too. The pain of women and all the people crying out who have been treated as less than needs to be heard and felt. Our children are being abused in sports and in church. Women have had it. I have had it.
Why can’t the lone voice be heard among us? Jesus left the ninety-nine for the one. God goes to the one and I take comfort in this.
I hear my spirit that is groaning within me saying this: Believe women, believe her, believe me.