Sometimes, I find myself having a moment I can’t control; a moment when reality has hit me in the face causing shock and pain at a level I wasn’t expecting. It’s a rare moment, but it often lingers and hangs on, exhausting me at my core. Those moments often stem from coming face to face with the depravity that is surrounding me, hidden but lurking.
One of those moments, happened just a few weeks ago and the lingering is still there. I’m finding it impossible to forget about it, distant myself from it, or tuck it away in my often too jaded heart.
The night started simple enough, hanging out over dinner. As it often goes, it’s in those simple times that depth of relationships are built. It was over this meal that I learned a screen name a girl used. As I attempted to keep a compassionate, yet calm face, my insides were screaming (a lot of inappropriate words to be exact).
As I went home, I was now faced with the “what do I do with this information” question running through my head. I could choose to go online and see what this woman had experienced, but I had to question, am I really strong enough to deal with what could be hidden behind this dark screen setting on my lap.
I turned on the TV thinking it would be a nice distraction and decide that I would only enter the name and see what images popped up, knowing the most graphic would probably be/should be hidden.
I was instantly hit with sickness. Sickness on all levels: mentally, emotionally, and physically. The first image was of this wonderful lady that now had a place in my heart standing directly beside what we now know as her perpetrator.
An innocent picture, with such vile undertones.
I wasn’t prepared. My body couldn’t handle it. I instantly went forward, having to set with my heads between my knees for fear I was going to throw up. Everytime I started to set up, I became nauseous.
As I was setting there, I heard a small, calm voice say, “pray for him.”
My response was an immediate “no.” Ok, if I’m being honest it was a “hell no.”
The voice again saying, “pray for him.”
This time, my response was a calmer “I can’t.”
I set there a little while longer, comtemplating what was next. This feeling was overwhelming and scary. But then I heard, “You have to remember that it is by my grace that you are not a victim…but it is also by my grace that you are not a perpetrator.”
In that moment, a lesson I had been given time and time again, became a reality. When we come face to face with the depravity around us, we have to come face to face with the depravity within us.
I still wasn’t strong enough to pray for him, but I was strong enough to ask others to help me pray for him. I sent out messages to friends, family, and co-workers and their response was immediate and supportive.
I still struggle with having that image in my mind of such darkness masked with such innocence. I still struggle with such anger and hatred at the man in that image.
But, God is also teaching me to judge righteously…
and walk in His grace.