the molester

Posted: November 4th, 2011 | Filed under: God | Tags: , | 25 Comments »

I had a dark childhood. I’ve lived and died a thousand times in this skin. But, by some miracle, I have always known that when I reach my hand up, His hand is there to take it. I have always been after the inner tug to the Something More. I can say with certainty that in spite of the brunt of life I had been served, I was meant for something more.

Knowing the damage that sexual abuse causes, I look at my children and something inside me leaps. They are unscathed by what scathed me. They are innocent and have no idea what kind of evil lurks in the dark spaces. I do everything I can to keep the predator of the innocent away from them.

I know what signs to look for. A predator tries to wedge in between the parent and the child. The predator befriends the family and waits to catch the little one alone. Innocence makes you trust. It’s all a game full of secrets and chances to be big. “You’re very mature for your age,” the predator hisses.

A cunning predator knows the right words. “Your parents are just trying to control you.”

I know what signs to look for. A child is a streak of giggles across the room while the mother runs after her with her clothes. Reckless naked abandon and the parents laugh as the little legs scamper in play. It’s only when the child is ashamed of the nakedness and curious about things beyond their level of development that there is a problem. When shame replaces innocence and fear replaces play, the parent is gripped by a knowing they must push aside or confront. It’s a knowing that asks, “Who made you ashamed?”

Victims of sexual abuse blame themselves. They can think back to all the times that they were not careful, the times they ran around naked, and they think they brought it on themselves. The child remembers all the times they left themselves vulnerable. All the naked tumbles and what used to be innocent had become indecent. And they stop playing.

They hide from their parent out of distrust and feeling dirty. “I’ll wash myself. Leave! I’m naked.”

When we read the words of God in the Bible, they’re just printed words. The words are given life by what we believe. We animate them with what we know.

A predator came into the garden and caught Eve alone. He wedged himself between Eve and her Father. He made her believe that her Father was just trying to control her. “Do you want to be a grownup, Eve?”

“God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen3:5

Until then, she and Adam were a streak of giggles. They were innocent in reckless naked abandon. Their legs danced in play. But, when they ate, their eyes were opened and their memory was tainted in shame. They grabbed leaves to cover their nakedness and hid from their Father.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Gen3:8)

God called out to them. “Where are you?” (Gen3:9)

They called out from their hiding place, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Gen3:10)

When shame replaces innocence and fear replaces play, the parent is gripped by a knowing they must push aside or confront. It’s a knowing that asks,

“Who told you that you were naked?” (Gen3:11)

The predator is a deceiver. He wedges himself between you and your Father. He tries to catch you alone because he is the molester of God’s children. He tries to make you feel ashamed of your freedom. He tries to take away your innocence. Every time you fall down, he humiliates you. He makes you doubt your Father and rely on him to take his condemning words back. He grooms you before he violates you. He vandalizes your trust in the Father so that you have nowhere to turn. He wants you to believe that you are damaged and alone. He wants to make a ghost town of your purity.

But look what God did for Adam and Eve. Their world had changed. They now knew what they shouldn’t have known. They stood before Him in tears as their flimsy coverings were not enough to hide what shamed them. But, God did not leave them embarrassed and vulnerable. He made them better clothes.

And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. (Gen3:20)

They should not have even known they needed clothes, but God did not torment them with what they could not change. He found them exactly where they were and provided what they should not have needed. He wanted them to feel decent again. Maybe if they feel decent, they won’t be afraid to be with Him.

God doesn’t give up on you and leave you to suffer your own damage. He takes care of you, even when it was you who caused the destruction.

tm

 


25 Comments »


25 Comments on “the molester”

  1. 1 @JCWert said at 11:20 am on November 4th, 2011:

    I wish I had 1/100th your writing talent and communication ability. This is simply brilliant. Absolutely stinking brilliant.
    My recent post Day 307: Encouragement from the path

  2. 2 serenawoods said at 11:34 am on November 4th, 2011:

    Thank you!! 🙂

  3. 3 Michelle said at 11:23 am on November 4th, 2011:

    Thank you.
    My recent post The Self-Existent One

  4. 4 serenawoods said at 11:34 am on November 4th, 2011:

    🙂

  5. 5 wanda said at 12:07 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    Our Father just reached down and deeply touched my heart through you … Thank you so much 🙂

  6. 6 serenawoods said at 1:02 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    Awesome, Wanda. Thanks for telling me. 🙂

  7. 7 Mickey said at 12:59 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    Perfectly put! That's exaclty what happens, Satan tries to put a wedge bewteen us and God. Divide and conquer. Satan may win sometimes, but I'm thankful God is always in control and gets the final say.

  8. 8 serenawoods said at 1:03 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    … And make us believe things about God that aren't true. ..all to keep us away from Him.

  9. 9 Cheryl said at 1:14 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    Beautiful. I love where you talk about God making them better clothes. Isn't it awesome that that is what He does??? Thank you so much.

  10. 10 serenawoods said at 1:18 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    It's a great picture of love. 🙂

  11. 11 Amy said at 3:15 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    This is so encouraging! I hadn't really thought of Genesis in that light, but it does make so much sense. I'm used to hearing this text used to decribe how we are all fallen sinners, but too often no one remembers to tell us how we are picked back up again.
    My recent post What a Time That Was

  12. 12 serenawoods said at 11:07 am on November 5th, 2011:

    Amy, yes. We need to be told the end of the story. 🙂

  13. 13 steve said at 10:25 am on November 5th, 2011:

    Grace abounding in the midst of pure evil. This is exceptional, God inspired writing.
    Evil is seen for all its depraved, selfish ugliness. Innocence is portrayed as pure beauty, in a way that we can all relate to. (Especially parents) Condemnation (unfit for habitation) is felt in the heart for what it is. Death. To feel condemned, to have lost an innocence that cannot be known again as it once was.
    But God! O the Grace of God is able, is willing, loves with a love so pure. As parents how we would redeem our (condemned) children if could. If we could make skins for them, we would use our own skin if we thought it would work. If we being imperfect and weak would do this "how much more" will God redeem that which was lost. Even if getting lost was all our fault. "Love does not keep accounts of wrongs." Love simply loves, restores, redeems..
    Thank you Serena.

  14. 14 serenawoods said at 11:06 am on November 5th, 2011:

    "…we would use our own skin if we thought it would work…"

    Wow, yes.

  15. 15 Charise said at 11:28 am on November 5th, 2011:

    I love this! His love is greater and more powerful than our sin and our failures. I love how the Lord remained faithful even when they were not. His love is amazing!

  16. 16 serenawoods said at 10:23 am on November 6th, 2011:

    Thanks, Charise. 🙂

  17. 17 Diane said at 5:44 pm on November 5th, 2011:

    Serena, you have changed the way I read this passage of scripture forever… I could blather on and on (in my usual fashion;-}) but I'll restrain myself. I'll just say thank you. Thank. You.

    After hearing you at Relevant, I came home and told my 21yo daughter, "You have to hear this woman, you have to read her stuff… she's like a wise old sage in the body of an adorable little wood sprite!" This post is precisely the kind of thing I was talkin about. So.. yeah…. thanks.
    My recent post What we're doing today

  18. 18 serenawoods said at 5:49 pm on November 5th, 2011:

    Diane, I'm going to quote you on that description. 🙂

  19. 19 Diane said at 6:38 pm on November 5th, 2011:

    hehehe… be my guest, sweetie;-)
    My recent post What we're doing today

  20. 20 Michael Patterson said at 7:56 pm on November 6th, 2011:

    Incredibly well written. Thank you!

  21. 21 serenawoods said at 8:04 pm on November 6th, 2011:

    Thanks, Michael. 🙂

  22. 22 Jana said at 9:53 am on November 7th, 2011:

    The voice of God, whispered into your ear and faithfully repeated for wounded hearts and those who love them. I don't have adequate words to express my gratefulness today. Thank you, sweet sister. Thank you.

  23. 23 Robyn said at 3:32 pm on November 7th, 2011:

    Serena,

    If you knew then, what you know now as to where God would be leading you………………….would you have believed it? But, "I'm just a child"," I am innocent", "I am untouched", YOU(adult) were suppose to protect me…. (but man can not do what GOD can) restore our faith, make us whole and protect us from evil.

    So many scars left from an abusive past, that I tend to find that I use to find that role quite comfortable. No longer, I didn't know that my scars were reminders of the ONE who can make me brand new. Scars that I glance at from time to time, especially as I watch my own child grown. "Protect him, Oh Lord!" I pray. Protect the ones who can not protect themselves……. the innocent.
    My recent post Discernment

  24. 24 Your Child and Sexual Abuse « Like A Warm Cup of Coffee said at 3:00 pm on November 8th, 2011:

    […] The Molester […]

  25. 25 Sabine said at 3:35 am on January 30th, 2012:

    For the first time, animals had to die to provide the skins. Another picture of the sacrifice to provide a covering. Isn't Scripture amazing? So many layers.


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