A Child’s Prayer for His Molester

The young boy walked into the coffee shop, a shy smile on his face when he saw me. I rose from my place, walked over to greet him and invite him to my table. Tall for his age, at ten, he would have passed, easily, for twelve.

We met first when I popped in on a friend, and he and his mother were there. My friend steered the conversation, almost abruptly, toward my work with sex abuse victims; her reasons soon revealed; it had recently come to light that the woman’s son, Perry, was molested. In the ensuing moments, I heard a story of betrayal and grief, as raw pain spilled from a mother’s heart.

Listening to her story, I thought how, moments earlier, Perry had come to tell his mother he was heading to the park. Upon seeing me, he stretched out his hand and introduced himself, confidently, holding eye contact–something that stood out from one so young. As Perry’s mom shared how they had walked with him, reassuring him, and removing guilt for the crime committed against him, assuring him it was not his fault, his confidence made sense. Nonetheless, she wondered if I would consider meeting with him. They had involved a social worker, a counselor and done all they could, but felt he needed someone, and feared he was withholding something.

When he walked into the coffee shop, the confidence replaced with a shy smile, I wasn’t surprised. What young boy looks forward with great enthusiasm to talking with a virtual stranger about being abused? Still, he had said he wanted to talk to me, when his mother explained what I do.

We chatted at length about school and what he loves to do, his hobbies, and other casual conversation. When we were both comfortable, the conversation turned…

In the ensuing moments, I heard the heart-breaking struggle of a child, stripped of innocence and hurled into a world of knowledge that he should not have discovered for many years. He told me how the neighbour boys made fun of him, because he had tried to do to another little boy what was done to him, and got caught.

“How does it make you feel, now, talking about it?” I asked.

“I feel bad,” he said, head bowed.

“Do you know why it makes you feel bad?” I asked.

“Because it was wrong. I shouldn’t have done it,” he said.

“Right. You told the social worker, and apologized, right?” I asked. He nodded. “So what do you do with those feelings?” I asked.

Perry shrugged, then looked up at me with tears in his eyes, “I talk to God.”

“What do you say?” I asked.

“I tell Him I’m sorry. And I ask Him to forgive me,” he said.

“Do you understand that He has forgiven you?” I asked.  Again, he nodded. “What else do you say to God?”

“I ask God to forgive the person who hurt me, to help him never hurt anyone again…” he said.

In that moment, in the middle of a conversation with a little boy, I wanted to kneel down and weep for the children who are so carelessly overlooked, many times. Instead, we continued the conversation and I reassured him, saying I believed he would never hurt anyone again, and how kind it was that he would pray for the person who hurt him.

canstockphoto7696245

Later,  alone, I wept. Is there anything more heart-breaking than a child, whose innocence is so disrupted, carrying the burden & consequence of their abuser’s sin? And is there anything more touching than to hear his voice, praying for his abuser? If I could have captured that sweet voice, sharing his prayer, I would like to think it might have changed thousands of lives…

Oh, church, I plead with you to hear this little boy’s heart cry. He is not the first child to carry this burden and pray this prayer. Tragically, he won’t be the last. His innocence was stolen, creating in him a temptation to hurt other children. Fortunately, he got help before he ever reached his teen years, and the likelihood that he will offend, with appropriate support, is low, but he will always carry the scars of what was done against him.

We must rise up–pastors, parents and men and women of God–and stand in the gap for these little ones! God does not take lightly the violation of a child’s spirit. It is the only sin for which Jesus said, it would be better that a millstone were hung about that person’s neck, and they be drowned in the sea.  He goes on to say that a child’s angel always beholds the face of God, indicating there is an intimate connection between God and children, and angels and children. Should we, God’s sons and daughters, not reflect that same care? Should we not look upon such injustice and act?

Matthew 18:10
“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

God is raising up warriors to stand in the gap for these little ones. He is calling pastors, teachers, parents and godly men and women…. Will you turn a blind eye, or will you do the right thing, and honour God?

Love

~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger

Get updates on Between 2 Gods (Memoir scheduled for release on March 3, 2015)

To Donate: Generations Unleashed, and Help Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Church

(Tax Receipts will automatically be issued for all donations over $20)

Praying Like A Pagan: A Challenge from My Sons

I wasn’t planning to write a blog tonight, but, after tucking my two youngest into bed, I decided to take a few minutes to do so.

Tonight Tim & I had a great night. We met with a handful of couples for an evening of prayer and confession. Well, it started with one individual sharing some things with me a few weeks ago, and wanting to pray through some past ‘stuff’ and some ongoing struggles.

Within the context of meeting in a group such as this, we had never had such a meeting. It was new… the unknown. And it was beautiful. It turned out to be an evening of prayer, of reaching out to God as a group. The presence of God was sweet and powerful. The perfect ‘ending’ to an intense week.

We returned home shortly after 10:00. Todd, thirteen, and Kordan, ten, were ready for bed, but not asleep. There was a bit of a dispute between them about who would tuck them in bed, Daddy or me. In the end I was the one who went up.

Everyone in our family knows that when I do prayer time, I sometimes get carried away… well, maybe usually… and I ‘chatter’ to God about all kinds of things. When they were little it worked great for putting them to sleep. I would pray, and pray and pray, until they fell sound asleep. I didn’t necessarily do it for that reason, it was just a great ‘bonus’ to my time with God.

As always we prayed together when I tucked them in. First Todd prayed, then Kordan, and finally I prayed. Both prayed their unique prayers, but each included, “…thank you that tomorrow is Saturday, and we will clean a little and play a lot….” Todd added a ‘hopefully’ to the end of that prayer. And then it was my turn.

I did the usual and prayed a while, but tonight I caught myself and wrapped it up relatively quickly.

Immediately when I said ‘amen’, and before I could leave the room, Kordan said, “Wait, Mommy, wait… Turn on the ‘head light’ (meaning the light on the head of the bed)… there’s something I want to show you.”

He pulled a box from the head of the bed and I assumed it was something he had made, but, as he turned the box, I recognized his Bible box. He said something about the book of Matthew, and having learned something in Bible Quizzing at church.

He looked up the book of Matthew at the front of the Bible, then started paging through, looking for page 1051. A few chapters in he decided to flip large sections and get there faster. In Matthew he started skimming, eventually asking Todd for a bit of help for the chapter and then scanning for verses. He said it was about prayer.

The heading ‘Prayer’ caught my eye so I pointed to it. He held it up and I read it to him. When I got to verse seven, Kordan said, with a laugh, “Yeah, that’s the one, that’s what I wanted to show you.”

The verse says, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words…”

Both boys laughed their little hearts out at their own humour and wit, at having found a verse, just for me. “That’s you mom… that’s what you do.”

I laughed, and explained, “It’s a bit different. I don’t think I’ll be heard for talking a lot.” Then I added, “I just think God likes to listen to me chatter.”

They argued that maybe that was just my perception, not reality, and laughed again.

It was a fun and light ‘topping’ to a week filled with ministry, and seeing the power of God work in breaking the chains of silence, victimization and abuse.

It is no wonder God tells us to become like little children. There is freedom in laughter, freedom in humour, and freedom in the love, hugs and kisses of our children.

I finished tucking them in, my heart full with the wonder of being blessed with God’s love through our children. I said it in my prayer, and I’ll say it again. I am so thankful for our family.

And my prayers… well, they may continue to be as long as that of the pagans, but I still think God likes to listen to me chatter.

© Trudy Metzger

Return to first post in Sexual Abuse Series

First Post in Spiritual Abuse Series

A Cup of Coffee & Persistent Prayer

With my Tassimo coffee disk in place, I popped down the top and pressed the start button. “Unable to read card.”What?? It’s my favourite morning coffee! (And the last disk!) I like it with way too much cream  to be healthy, making it a rich caramel liquid. No sugar, though. That would hate to ruin a perfect cup of coffee. (Now, if it’s a bad coffee, sugar is acceptable.)

Thinking I must have inserted it incorrectly, I lifted the top, adjusted it slightly, and popped it down again.

“Unable to read card,” it said again.

Oh dear! But it’s my favourite morning coffee!! And, though I don’t, because I have zero alcohol in my body, I feel like I have a terrible hangover. I need that coffee this morning. Need it! This is not a want situation here… This is critical for my well-being…

I removed the disk again, wiped everything up, just in case, and tried again. “Unable to read card.”

That’s it! I will win this thing! I walked to the knife block with determination. I grabbed a sharp knife. Took the used disk, that I had just pulled out, cut off the scanner bar, placed it directly on top of the other one. I popped it back in and…

VOILA!!

I have me a cup of my favourite morning brew. Mmmm… Mmm… Mmm! The coffee isn’t anything exotic or extravagant. It’s Nabob’s 100% Columbian.  It’s basic. It’s a full flavoured taste that, in my mind competes with nothing else. And to think I’d get ‘can’t read’ on my last disk. The bottom of the barrel. On a morning when I need it most!

Okay… okay… It’s only a cup of coffee… I get that. But have you ever been in that place, in an area in your life, where you have a need, and it’s just beyond reach? You feel like you’re facing the impossible, a mountain, and all you’re asking for is basic, survival kind of stuff.

You’re not asking God to make Abraham’s turf look small compared to yours, your asking for a simple place to live. You’re not looking to find a get-rich-quick scheme, at the expense of people in your life, you’re asking for a job. Maybe you’re asking Him to help you through a trial, a temptation, a financial struggle. Maybe you or a loved one are in a health crisis. You’re reaching out, your crying out, and nothing is happening. You keep getting a sense that you’re doing something wrong, or God is:
a) not hearing you
-or-
b) all-out, intentionally neglecting you

I promise you that God has not forgotten you. He doesn’t always provide everything we want or need, in our time, and He doesn’t always do it without effort on our part. Sometimes God expects you to act, to do your part. (I had to get creative for my coffee, you have to apply for that job.)

Most importantly God wants you to see Him, not only as the Provider, but as the Provision. Not only as the Healer, but also the Healing. He doesn’t just want to be the hand, but also the gift. He wants to be your all-in-all, everything you need.

Never give up hope, whatever situation you find yourself in. Pursue, through prayer, fasting. Persist in prayer. Stand firm on God’s promises. Do the legwork He is asking you to do. Whatever it takes, whatever it means, do it. But, no matter what, don’t lose sight of what matters.

… it was only a coffee I wanted. A cup of Nabob’s 100% Columbian coffee… but it was worth persisting. How much more important is it, to persist in the things that really matter?

© Trudy Metzger

Return to first post in Sexual Abuse Series

First Post in Spiritual Abuse Series

Spiritual Abuse Part 13: Men of God, Rise Up! Reclaim Spiritual Authority

As fate would have it, my main, not to mention ‘new’, computer crashed. I awakened Saturday morning with no access to my documents and the writing I had started for the next few blog posts. However, I am not willing to lose momentum now, so, to the best of my ability I will keep my commitment to post at least once a day. In the meantime, I wait (patiently…or not so much) and thank God for my IT manager… who also happens to be my husband and best friend. If I miss a post, that explains why.

The topic of spiritual authority is one of the most important topics, not only in Genesis, but, throughout all of Scripture. Yet it is rarely taught in many Christian cultures, particularly those that want control over ‘the flock’. However, since it is God-ordained and God-given, no human has the right to take it away.

Genesis 2: 15-17, 19
15 
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” […] 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.

God gave Adam authority over evil and death, and commanded him to protect the Garden from it. In the next verse it says, ‘…for Adam there was not found a help ‘meet’ (suitable, fitting, compatible) for him”, which means Eve was not yet created.  This was Adam’s primary responsibility, an area he didn’t do so well. And, unfortunately, an area men continue to struggle in, because of the impact of sin, but you can change that, starting today.

Gentlemen, God has called you to protect your ‘Garden’—the place He has given you—from sin and evil, and to be actively involved in war against Spiritual darkness and attack. Control and imposing strict man-made rules are not the answer. The answer is much more personal than that. It is about entering in, hearing, praying, communicating ‘with’, not only talking ‘to’ your family. It is about bringing the power of God to your family, by personifying Jesus Christ, and His serving heart, to your family, through your love and care.

Like Adam, the temptation is to retreat, to let ‘Eve’ take spiritual leadership, or leave her spirit empty and hungry. The cost for apathy is too high, in every way. We’ll talk about that more in a post exploring Adam and the fact that he was designed for relationship, and we’ll look at how this initial authority intertwines with, and impacts relationships.

Religion, as a controlling entity and not functioning as God designed it, has stripped men of this spiritual leadership, in many ways. I cannot tell you the amount of fathers I know, who ran to the church leadership when their sons or daughters strayed from the constitution, or lived in all-out sin, because it was the easy way out and it’s what the church expected them to do. Rather than being there, they let the church deal with it. It became a battle against their children, rather than a fight for their souls. It destroyed family relationship rather than uniting them.

I’m not saying the church should never be involved, there is a time for that, but not before you have loved those children through sacrificial living. Not until you have wrapped your arms around them–or put your hand on their shoulders, if you’re not a ‘hugsy’ family–and prayed with them and for them. Not until you have blessed them and repented for your failures.

Men, your sons and daughters want you to notice them. They want you to fight for them. They want you to get your hands bloody and slay the spiritual dragons in their path. To dress the dragon right, merely gives it power, because it blends in and cannot be seen. While that can give you temporary peace, God forbid that it be given that kind of hidden power. Don’t let the external be the focus, when God has called you to fight for the soul and spirit. Yes, teach the practical ‘living it out’, by being a trustworthy example, but enter into battle with them, close up. Stand between them and the dragon, so that they are not so consumed with fighting the dragon, that they miss connecting with God.

And, finally, allow your children to battle with God. No one gets closer to God, than the one who wrestles with Him. To wrestle, one must touch, and to touch God is to experience life. It is the young man or woman, who has never wrestled with God, who is most at risk of never truly knowing God. And it is much safer for them to wrestle with God, than to wrestle with the enemy or even a religious system. God has their best interest at heart, in the purest sense.

If you have never wrestled with God, if you have been so busy wrestling with religion or fighting with your family that you have neglected to ask God the hard questions, as  King David did, then start there. When you wrestle, you give your wife and children permission to wrestle and you give God permission to be God.

Men of God, will you stand once again in the authority God has given you?

© Trudy Metzger 2012

Go to first post in this series: http://trudymetzger.com/2012/05/22/spiritual-abuse-introduction/