Disclaimer: this post is fueled by righteous anger + black coffee. A little late to the game, but in the game, nonetheless.
Brock Turner. You've heard the name. You've seen the photo of the blonde hair, blue-eyed swimmer. Maybe more recently you've seen the unflattering mugshot.
Last night, I stayed awake reading the survivor's testimonial. I laid awake for awhile, unable to deal with my anger and grief. I feel so many emotions about this case and feel so helpless in the whole ordeal.
It's not my place to retell the story, so if you've been living as a recluse for the past year, educate yourself.
I texted a friend today who shares my fieriness for women's issues; specifically regarding sexual assault and we've come to the conclusion that the church needs to speak up. We need to stop being silent about these controversial issues. We need to have an opinion. We need to share our voice.
Sexual assault is a big freakin deal. I'm sick of us pretending it's not. I'm sick of the church staying silent. I'm sick of us not getting fired up about these issues.
Every. Single. Day. I work with women who've experienced the atrocity that is sexual assault. Whether you attend an Ivy League school or a community college, more than ever, sexual assault creeps through our Greek rows and our libraries. It's everywhere and the one place who hasn't given an opinion is the church.
Here's what I know.
We serve a JUST God: "He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger [foreigner], giving him food and clothing." (Deuteronomy 10:18)
Jesus valued and protected women: "When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8)
Christians are called to speak out against injustice: "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." (Ephesians 5:11)
I can list many other thoughts, but I don't think I need to because if we believe we serve a JUST God who values women and calls us to do the same, that's all the charge I need.
So what can the church do? Have an opinion. Create safe spaces to talk about these controversial issues. Provide safety and support for women. Educate men and charge them to protect their sisters. Give women a voice. Let us tell our stories. PRAY.
Pray for justice. Pray for the survivors. Pray for the perpetrators (though it's still a struggle for me). Pray for redemption. Pray for healing.
The truth is, Jesus is the ultimate redeemer and our world won't be whole until he returns, but until then, please speak up. Please let us talk. Please be the church and proclaim that GOD'S HEART IS NOT FOR ASSAULT. ASSAULT IS NOT OK.
"He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And He who was seated on the throne said, "Behold I am making all things new." Revelation 21
Feeling a lot of anger,
**Sexual assault happens to men too. Today, I just happen to be a fired up woman, but this goes for the vice versa too.**