People, I find, don't want to hear about the on-going results of serious sexual trauma.
As a family, we walked the "Sexual Abuse Road." There is no way back, no sidetrack that avoids the bumps and potholes. We found ourselves on a journey we didn't choose or want, but we had no choice. Like it or lump it, this was our life. From that day on, our family would be classed as dysfunctional. Why? Because we were victims of crime.
The road was rough, painful and difficult. It challenged everything we believed. Anything that wasn't a deeply embedded part of our lives was shaken off and we were left clinging to the Rock called Jesus.
So I wrote the book, Though the Bud be Bruised, to share our journey and our victories: to show the amazing grace and healing love of our God who led us, via the wilderness, to wholeness.
The book also shares the church's struggle when dealing with such issues, especially when the consequences turn to unpleasant psychological outcomes. The unspoken (occasionally even spoken) judgement implied that, if we had real faith, none of these things would be happening. As a family we made the church untidy. We marred the squeaky clean image that churches try and maintain to make God look good.
The church's inability to handle our 'dysfunctional family' and the consequences of the abuse, which was perpetrated within the church, was nearly more painful for me than the crime itself.
However that was years ago. It is all behind me. God, in His grace, used this disaster to reveal himself to me in a greater measure. I am very thankful for the love He showed me then, and continues to pour out on me to this very day.
But this week I am angry again!
I approached a Christian radio station asking for an opportunity to speak about my book. When a lovely lady rang to organise an interview, she back peddled upon hearing the topic was sexual abuse. After she consulted with the program director, I was referred away from the morning program to the News and current affairs. Their email asked why I would write a book about such a heavy topic and difficult subject matter.
All contact I've had with these people has been highly professional and very polite but it has stirred up my passion. Isn't it time good Christians stopped shying away from such subjects? Let's face the brutal facts. Sexual abuse has happened and is still happening within the church. And not only within those of traditional persuasion. It is equally embedded in 'alive' churches. One in four women and a lower percentage of men who sit in our churches have been victims of sexual abuse. One in four of the girls in our Sunday schools are or will be a victim.
Ignorance of these facts made our family easy pickings for the enemy. I want parents to be better informed. My aim is to educate them of the dangers, and so expose the evil ways of the enemy. Let's shine a light of truth in the dark.
Paedophilia is alive and well in churches. Today. Now! How can that be? Because where evil isn't challenged, it thrives! Where there is a discomfort around a topic, we can be sure it is active but camouflaged in our midst. The enemy loves to hide under a veil of false holiness and feigned humility. He is safe there, as long as no one is well enough informed to recognise him and so expose him.
Is there anyone out there who will open the doors with me and expose the wickedness that is hidden in the darkness of false piety?