Attempts to shame, cajole, or threaten people to keep them from coming to new theological perspectives is spiritually abusive. We have got to start taking note of what this looks like and call it out publicly when we see it.
Rage has been my friend for a very long time. We have had a complicated relationship full of betrayals and misunderstandings, and truthfully, I’ve been the hurtful one. Rage has stuck by me even when I didn’t love her like she deserved to be loved. When I was around 6 or 7 years old, my pastor’s college-aged son came out as gay. The church was in uproar. I didn’t even know what “gay” meant, but I was heartbroken that the…
I did not expect to wake up this angry today, but grief is a weird companion and where trauma rears its head can rarely be anticipated. Yesterday morning, I received an email from a friend who is still employed by my previous organization, PIONEERS (though not for much longer). She wanted to know if I had seen this article yet. “Sounds similar to your situation,” she said. She had recently found the author, Breanna, through a podcast and suspected it was a…
I was delighted to be invited to be a guest on the Faith and Feminism Podcast. Meghan and I had a wonderful conversation exploring the reality of Patriarchy and Colonialism in Western missions work. I deeply believe that things can be done better and offered my perspective on how that is possible. You can listen to our conversation here.
All this to say, I think it’s time to share my experience in Bali for those who care enough to read it. For the past year, I’ve sat with this document – read it a few times to try to process and heal, but I’ve been afraid to share it beyond my closest circle of friends. Truthfully, I’ve been afraid that I will be told that what happened wasn’t that big of a deal or that we are still struggling nearly 2 years later means that we are weak and pathetic. I am also afraid that former colleagues will somehow read it, and I will once again be perceived as the community’s monster and the scapegoating will somehow find me again.
I was told that being a woman meant that I was supposed to know my place and allow a man to protect me. I was to go second, a step behind him, into the adventure God was calling him to. My role was to submit, to support, and to follow. That didn’t work out so well.
Sometimes I cry for them on my way home for work because there is simply nothing else to do but hold the stories they’ve shared and grieve for what they’ve endured and the injustice of it all. They are worth crying for when their own tears have long since given way to the shrug of acceptance. I also cry for how brave they are – how they continue to get back on their feet setback after setback, under the weight of pressures that would incapacitate me.
In the strangest twist of grace that is so laughably just like God, it is the very person that I am which was so detested my former conservative missions community that allows me to forgive them.
my counselor casually mentioned how my family had been scapegoated in the missions community. After she said that I spent several weeks reading about scapegoating and trying to decide if she was right. I think she was,
I feel betrayed by his silence and apathy, or at least by what looks like silence and apathy to me. As my son said, “How am I supposed to trust anyone when they tell me they care about me after this?” How do I trust God’s love for me when it feels like God is less concerned with justice, truth, and kindness than I am?