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March 25 2011 6 25 /03 /March /2011 13:25


Having an anniversary is sort of like the first day of the new year, or significant birthdays, it is another time of reflection, assessment and discovery. It is another opportunity to change the dynamics of our relationship to our spouse, and others, a chance to evaluate and change the way we think of them, and act toward them. We humans need these landmarks in life to make us take stock of the things which we usually take for granted. We tend to get into a groove, a rut or a pattern, and if we are not very careful we can get stuck there for years, even if it is not particularly productive! If the pattern is at least familiar, and doesn't take too much of our thought processes, then it becomes our "way of life", and we settle into it, and that is that, for a time. But frequently we need to assess the fruitfulness of our ways. To see to it that our "way of life" is actually producing life, and is not just a kind of slow death. Many marriages die, many families are destroyed to the foundations, simply because patterns are developed, and allowed to play out, which are sins against love, and do not produce life in relationships.


Gene and I both came to this union for the same reason, because we profoundly felt God leading us into it! However, we both also came loaded with much negative emotional baggage! We were at a distinct disadvantage on the one hand, yet, being sure that wehad heard God turned out to be THE advantage after all. It has sustained us through these 28 years, and has caused us to be healing for each other, and has progressively relieved us of the negative baggage, over time as well.


We each did love God, with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, at least that which we had control of at the time. And because we did, He led us to each other and, over the years, He has helped us to make the choices that would cause us to love each other to wholeness. It has been a journey, an adventure, and a struggle of epic proportions! But neither of us would decide differently if we had it to do over. I am not sure where we would be if God had not joined us together, but I am fairly sure neither of us would have survived our 30's - and am really sure that the world would have been deprived of seven very special people! How mysterious are the ways of God!


But lately, I have been grieved to have seen so much tragedy, up close and personal. Well, I say lately, but actually, my family has always been a tragedy waiting to happen. There has always been "breaking news" of tragic events of one kind or another. However, because I am freshly healed in some areas, and there are fewer callouses, I find that have become even more tender to the hurting of others.


My sister and brother-in-law are divorcing, after nine years of hard struggle. It is not going as smoothly as we hoped, for both are truly injured people, and could not come up with the love it takes to stay together - or to separate as friends, even. And, this week, a family that we know distantly has been torn apart, the parents jailed, the kids taken in by grand-parents, accusations of abuse, etc. flying around. It is so heart-breaking.


I personally do not grieve only for the victims, but I also grieve for the abusers, for once they were most likely on the other end of that stick. And whether they were or not, their conscience has endured a great beating, and they will never again have a decent sense of self-esteem. How could they? Unless they can get hold of God in a significant way. Both of these situations, and there are actually dozens I could mention, are so tragic and painful, because they involved sins against love.


These situations are now obvious to on-lookers, but they were not always. Now that the cover has been blown off these situations and the sin has become laid out in the open for all to see, a lot of folks are tsk, tsking, and liberally throwing their negative judgments around. But where were all these people before? Surely there were signs of distress! Did any of them try to help? Did any offer, for example, to go haul some of the trash off, or to clean anything up, or to help them get control of their life? ( in the latter situation mentioned) Was there anyone looking into the situations to see if intervention was needed?


This is tricky stuff. Because, you see, we each have areas of our lives that we really don't want others in! We bare our teeth and issue a low growl if our three feet of personal space is invaded. There is an area between parents and children that it is not wise or decent to stick our noses into. There are areas of responsibility in peoples lives that we do not belong in, where our opinion does not matter. Yet, when do we "butt in", if we suspect trouble? Is there a way to lovingly offer help, hold folks accountable, and bring intervention if it is needed?


I know, most child abuse advocates are bellowing right now, that "loving intervention" is a moot point, because, in the minds of most of these vigilantes, the abuser doesn't deserve love! And I have heard them declare, furthermore, that, because of their abusive behavior, they have forfeited the right to decent treatment. However, I have watched the cycle of abuse roll through the generations of my own family. We never even thought about "turning someone in", it never occurred to us! Abusive behavior was all we had ever known. It was  "normal life" for us, something to be endured, something to feel ashamed of - even if we were only the victim, it was something to dissociate from, to deny, to hide - even from ourselves, but we never knew we were supposed to expose it, or stop it, or that we could!


And as I have watched this cycle roll on and on, and I see those poor little guys, those sweet, once trusting, once innocent children, become the next generation of ugly, rage driven, insanely abusive adults, I have to wonder - at what point do they stop needing and deserving love? At what point do we mentally move them from the ones needing help to the ones needing punishment? What if they need both?


Now, I am not so crazy as to think that they do not need to be held fully accountable for crimes committed against others! Oh no! No matter what caused them to behave in these socially sick ways, they surely do need to be restrained, or whatever, so that the abuse stops. But somewhere in the process, the hurts that caused that rage, the pain that caused their thinking, judgment and reasoning to go awry need to be addressed. At some point someone needs to really show them love! How can people that have never been shown love be expected to reproduce it?


I do not know what makes good soil for love to grow in. I know that I was mostly deprived of real love as a child. I know that I became desperate for it, and that I grasped any small seed of love and protected it and cultivated it with all my might. One of my fondest memories, in fact, is that of a kind vacation Bible school teacher who gave me a picture card of Jesus holding children on His lap. I clutched that card with my entire being. That picture gave me hope of love. A possibility that someone loved me. That card began a love affair with Jesus that has never ended. Somehow, to really know that He loved me made the rest of my pitiful life endurable. I was three years old, and I had already been introduced to the life of sexual abuse, dissociation, and the rest of the hell that goes with that existence. But hope is the reason I survived, and eventually recovered.


Hope is why I never gave up on myself or anyone else. And why I know that real love indeed conquers all. In fact, He did that awhile back at Calvary. It is not just another pretty Bible story. When I sing "Jesus loves me this I know ", it is not just because "the Bible tells me so". It is because His love has sustained me through the hell of my early life. And it has transformed that former hell into this present heaven, and sustains me to this day! It is why my marriage works, and my kids are normal, well-adjusted blessings who have favor with God and man! It is why the cycle of abuse did not have its full sway here!


However, unless the abusers and the ones which they have abused, are told about that love, how will they know He is calling? Those who have heard the call and have answered need to share His love! Like the lady who gave me the card, whose name I do not remember, but whose kind face I will never forget, we become the catalysts for that love.


If you are caught in the web of abuse, on either end, I assure you that no matter what you have done, or what has been done to you, Love is calling out your name. He never stops calling out our name. He will call it until we answer! Why we should answer is obvious, I think, but whether or not we will answer is up to us. Many of the ones judging these folks so harshly, have answered the call for themselves, but can we, will we answer for others? Are we willing to represent Him to them? We should not judge their sins against love too harshly if we are not willing to do show them a better way! If we are not willing or able to go to the trouble to give them the hope of that love we should keep out judgement to ourselves. Love is still calling out our name, and theirs, are we willing to do whatever it takes to help them hear Him?


Listen! Love is calling out Your name right now. How will you respond?


~ Selah







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  • : SELAH Jubilee Lady Writes 4 Shalom
  • : I love to write, all about life, and what is going on in it. And about the Beloved Creator, Who sponsored it! I hope to intrigue and inspire.
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  • Sandra Carlton Duncan
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37  years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog  (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37 years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.