We were made to walk in this world barefoot; to run and play without fear.
But the reality is that most of us limp along, barefoot and cautious, on paths littered with broken glass. Things are not as they should be. We are not as we should be.
Those who have been sexually abused feel this acutely. They can no longer dance in this world with bare feet. Their wounds are so many, or so deep, that they can barely crawl into the next day.
Most who have been abused will never speak of it. You will never be privy to the shards of shame and pain they feel with each step.
So be kind. Be gentle to those you encounter.
Resist the urge to have a pat answer; to rush; to relieve the tension with something you read somewhere else by someone else. Refuse to say: “All things work together for good.”
Instead, invite those you encounter to sit awhile.
Allow those who have suffered the worst kind of cuts to put their feet up on your table. Make a comfortable place for them to rest. Create a welcoming space for weary souls to speak (or not) of their inhospitable journey.
Can we provide a soft patch of the world that is safe for others to walk on barefoot? If so, then we might just earn the right to wash and bind their wounds.
We can say things like: “You have come so far, and over so much broken glass. I’m glad you are here. Rest a bit. Be at ease for a few minutes. I’m here if you need me.”
Peace to you and yours tonight. Because we do have hope that one day we will run and play without fear again. Our bodies and minds will be fully healed, and our broken hearts and world made perfectly whole. The path will be smooth. The sun will be warm on our faces.
There will be no more tears.
Our strength will be restored (is being restored even now) and we will dance, barefoot and with joy, like we were made to do.