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?
… what would have happened to the Jewish victim after he recovered and returned home. Was he ever able to go to the temple again? Did he panic every time he saw a Levite? Was he bitter and angry with all priests because of the one Priest who had left him for dead?
I think it’s the theme of my life… there are more people and nations that he will give in exchange for my life. It’s not because I’m somehow extraordinary, but simply that any person who knows in their bones that they are precious and honored and loved is compelling to other hungry souls. And I am that.
“Sometimes, when we stare at pain day after day, we become numb to it. It hurts too much to care, so we stop caring.” I didn’t know how prophetic those words would be in my life.