The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
(I promised last week to write more about the word skenoo, but that will have to wait.)
This will be a personal post, today, and it’s going to talk about sexual abuse, so be forewarned. It’s just this thought that’s on my mind: the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory…full of grace and truth. This afternoon I read the story of two women who set off to dance on their grandfather’s grave–for the grandfather had sexually abused them while they were children–and they wound up filing a police report against him in a symbolic, and spontaneous, move.
The police officer who took their report was honoring: asking questions, writing down answers. They spoke the truth, and in speaking, received a measure of healing.
If you look at the comments which follow the story, you find the overarching theme of silence: children who are not believed, adults who keep quiet, perpetrators who get off scott free, and victims who go on to live with the screaming pain and shame about which they are told not to talk. Silence is the avenue and abusers have a free ride.
All I can think about, of course (since this verse has been foremost on my mind), is Jesus, Creator God, taking on flesh and dwelling with the whole mess of us, and that he was not full of hatred (would not inflict pain), nor was he full of silence, or lies. He would confront the entirety of humanity on humanity’s dismal and broken terms, and in him we would confront goodness, honor, and love. It is a hard thing to trust in love, to believe in goodness, it is nearly impossible to risk our hearts and put them in the hands of another. The hands and minds and bodies and words of others have hurt us, all of us, throughout our lives.
Yet–and it feels flagrant, somehow, while at the same time, feels like the answer to our greatest cries–the Word arrives on the scene and manifests, completely, grace and truth. He says, “follow me,” and we might follow. He says, “come and see,” and we might see. He is full of grace and truth. Our secrets find their home in Him. Our sorrows find their comfort. Our traumas find their healing. Our mental prisons find their doors flung open. Our abusers find their judgement. The injustices committed against us find a prosecutor, jury and judge–we are heard, we are believed, and we are embraced onto a path of light, of love, of healing. The Gospel in its fullness might be a bit more encompassing than this, but today, after reading the precious story of these two brave cousins, the words “grace and truth” speak to me in the broken places of my heart. They say, “look, here is Someone safe. You can trust Him, and you don’t need to remain silent any more.”