A verse from Thursday's first reading reached out and grabbed me -
“...I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live,...” (Dt 30:19)
The blessing and the curse. I had used this scripture verse in my book - The Third Floor Window, A True Story of Secrets, Survival and Hope.
And today that passage brought me back. It is Lent, after all. And it was during Lent that the sexual abuse crisis in the church hit the newspapers in the United States. And it was then, as I struggled with my cross, that Fr. Tom, my spiritual director, helped me work through it and encouraged me to write the book. To write through the pain.
The blessing and the curse.
This excerpt from the book explains -
Father Tom tells me there are two sides to the sexual abuse. One side is a curse - the pain and damage that has been done to me. But the other side is a blessing - as I struggle to heal, to face my brokenness, to love, to believe I am lovable, I find grace. I find God.
The trick is to learn to embrace both sides.
I did not choose to be here. And I often wish it would all go away. There is no one who wants me to forget more than me. Sometimes, when the pain hits me out of the blue, I wonder if I can survive it. Then I look at Jesus on the cross and I know that I am blessed.
I am blessed because I have found God in my suffering. I am blessed because I know that I do not carry this cross alone. I have never carried this cross alone.
In my darkest hours, when I cannot forget, when the pain from my childhood has pushed me to my knees, faith tells me that God is holding on to me and will never let me go.
And on my resurrection day, when I finally see the face of God, I will not only be healed, I will be fixed. It will be over. And on that day, I will forget. Because there will no longer be any reason to remember.
“For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Rev 7:17)