Apogee

The girl-child mama ties her daughters to her–kites, they rise

Aloft in the summer breeze

Curl, swirl, dip, and sing

Bird-children

While faraway grandmother

Ponders apogee

The furthest point one can be from another.

Advertisements

When you get lonely

Go for a run in a safe, well-lit place

Sing your God songs, loud if possible

Kick around in the Gospels, the Jesus stories, the Bible project, CS of course

Ask Him direct questions

We love you sooo much

But He is love–

oceans-are-small-compared-love

No-story-too-small-love

Big-sky-love

Lonely awful die-for-us love

Lend us a child like you, Love

Arms wide open love

The stars are more than fire love

In the dark sky they admonish/love

He will never leave you, never walk away

Protect your ass, you mean

Recently I took an online “course” designed to protect Christian ministries from lawsuits arising from child sexual abuse.

I knew it was going to be annoying, but it was worse than I had anticipated.

Here are some (but definitely not all) of the curriculum deficiencies:

  • There was very little information about helping victims of child abuse
  • Many of the recommendations were protective of the church over the child
  • There were broad, unsubstantiated allegations about the victims of child abuse and their families which included saying that they were mentally disabled and prone to familial dysfunction
  • The course stated and repeated that the adult survivors of child sexual abuse were not emotionally stable, neither able nor willing to process and recover from childhood trauma
  • The methods of ferreting out both abuse and abusers were shot through with harmful stereotypes and inadequate information
  • The course taught the participant to favor in-organization reporting over direct and immediate reporting to law enforcement, legal guardians, and child protective services
  • The test reinforced curriculum biases

I contacted the company directly after I took the course and asked them for information on their source material and bibliography.

No answer.

I am not a rape victim, but I was targeted by at least one pedophile when I was young, and I have children who are childhood sexual assault survivors.

I am not “low IQ,” and my children are all smarter than I am. Had any of us been “low IQ” (term taken directly from course material), we would still deserve help from the law and relief from abuse.

Our individual and collective intelligence was not the reason my children were molested by my adopted son, but it also did not save us from protracted and compounded grief.

First from the felonies,

Later from the way “good people did nothing,” or worse still, did things to let us know they wanted to silence our story.

Jesus said, tell the little children they will always be safe with me.

Yet in order to protect their legal asses big, well-known communities and institutions all over this country are serving up biased, unsubstantiated defamation of childhood rape victims and their families in place of solid, simple procedures to ensure that children are safe in church and that the law is followed.

It should never be “protect my ministry,” over protect the children.

Matthew 18

The Angry Biddy

She flaps her (flightless) wings and flutters about

Because surely birds can’t cry and this world is full of sorrow

She is almost human, fully sentient with the wary eyes of someone who knows what it is to not have opposable thumbs

So I tell her, do your graceless angry dance and I will translate for you

About how eternal we are in this brutal place

Where the stars tell us things in the darkness

About hope

Dammed hope

Which will one day soon

Break free

What is a good friend?

Yep, I know-who?

Bear with me.

Ten years ago we discovered that our adopted son had molested some of his siblings and their friends.

I went to my friend and asked him what I should do and he said,

The truth will set you free.

So I told people the truth

Church

Work

Neighbor

Community

Family

Truth

And most people stopped being our friends.

So not who, what

A good friend never leaves, never forsakes, never hides your sin, but doesn’t abandon.

Jesus is a good friend.

What is Love

What is justice

There were times we all faced this extreme solitude of the truth. People who had been out friends could not risk the chance that we were contagious.

But Jesus was always there, the sojourning older son, back from afar, standing on the other side of the street, in sight of the house, I-am-here-darling present with us

never alone because

What a friend we have in Jesus

The Good Friend

Recently I have started “meditating” on the good friend. I put meditation in quotes because it can seem monastic and old fashioned, could just say thinking about.

But I say meditation because the particular focus for me is the life-long friendship God calls us to pursue.

God calls us to pursue.

What is a good friend?

Who qualifies as a good friend?

How does one be a good friend?

What do good friends do together?

How much time does good friendship require?

Is there a schlepping requirement?

All these things are on the big stone table of this miraculous friendship God has called me to through the doorway of Jesus.

Very Christiany, I know.

But then I also know I could not draw close to the Holy Divine if I did not have

A friend like Jesus.