If you are a woman, it’s likely you’ve experienced your share of demeaning encounters in this life: unwanted rubbing, pressing, leering, lewd talking, stalking, grabbing, cornering, or worse.
Those responsible for that sort of degradation were pawns of darkness in those moments. Inflamed with satisfying only themselves, they didn’t see you – your light – at all. You, as a whole and holy person, meant nothing to them.
This is a depressing reality for far too many women. What are we to do with the deep insults inflicted on our persons; our worth? Do we fight? Rise above it? Do we forgive and try to forget? Who will pay for our individual and collective pain and shame?
I don’t know. But a friend who understands what it means to encounter real darkness wrote me this week. I offer her words (with her permission) to you today:
“In the midst of processing what happened to me it feels good for someone to stand up and defend me, but it feels a whole lot better when after they defend me, they turn me toward the light.
I think it would be a shame if, in the name of supporting women who are victims, we vilify others to the point of creating more darkness. I don’t need someone to tell me rape is evil… believe me, I know. I need someone to tell me that God is good, and not to fear, and that Jesus became like me in my weakness, just because he loved me.
If you tell someone that the God of the Universe valued her so much that he gave up his greatness for her and became humble, touchable, and kill-able, you’re standing up for her, defending her worth, her person. And you’re also turning her around from staring at her pain and shame to staring at Jesus…”
Ah yes. May we be a people who turn and return to the light. Because we have hope in the darkness, and it is found in a man whose passion was not to please himself, but to give himself.
Our light is found in a blameless man whose body was broken; who endured the most shameful death while his enemies leered, all because he would not see us – his holy and beloved ones – desecrated and left alone in the dark.
And so we put our trust in a man who stands in heaven with our names written on his hands; hands that never grasped or forced; hands that gently healed the bruised, blessed the vulnerable, and warmly welcomed the light of any woman in his presence to shine.
This man is Jesus. And because he stands up for you, even now, peace to you and yours.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”