Beanery Online Literary Magazine

April 8, 2008


The piece below was written in response to the poem, “The Well-Adjusted Child” (click on THE WELL-ADJUSTED CHILD to read). The author prefers to remain anonymous. Both pieces are filed in the category VISITOR WRITINGS and are responses by abuse victims to their mistreatment.

Both Aaron and Moses, being leaders, were subject to the pressures and demands of their followers, and were tormented by the critiques.

When God told Moses to talk to Jesus (the rock), Moses instead took the path of fear and allowed his emotions to rule his choice: he struck the rock. In essence, he went to Jesus demanding instead of asking for discovery, vision, and inspiration.

In reflecting on my childhood, I remembered the times when my sister and I played in a dirt mound in front of our back porch. Our little hands pushed “Mattel,” Match Box cars through roads swiped out with our fingers. We discovered, played, and traveled into unknown territory. We constructed monuments with nothing more than a few sprinkles of water and a handful of dry soil. We built towering castles and forts of clay decorated with the few sprigs of lilac leaves, pebbles, and dried grass we collected. We never once talked about an outline or an agenda and we moved freely from one moment to the next knowing how to live and trusting.

One day while we were growing our dreams and just being, I dug deep into the dirt and found a rock. Unlike Moses, I had no fear of the rock. In fact, I was curious and wanted to turn it over and discover what lay beneath it. I did.

The dirt suddenly became alive as I observed a community of ants crawling up and over the pit they had been resting in.

My sister was not impressed by the invasion of our space. In fact, she began to panic and scream hysterically as the little creatures made their way toward her.

I was shocked by her reaction and could not understand why she was screaming. I tried desperately to calm her, but one of the ants decided to thwart my direction and bit her on the leg. She promptly jumped from her seated position and ran to the kitchen screaming. Still, I had no idea what to do, but I followed her. She was my sister and I was concerned. Much to my surprise, or horror, as I entered the kitchen and stepped into the living room, I was suddenly and without warning lifted from the floor by the blunt force of a four-inch wide strap which found its way across my buttocks.

The immediate shock left me speechless for a few moments (long enough to take another lashing) before I quickly retreated to the upstairs.

I don’t remember what happened after that, and I never stood still long enough in my fathers’ presence to ask him why he beat me a he did.

All fathers are born leaders, leaders just like Moses, but too often they forget to go to God or they refuse to go to God with their fear. Then they make terrible choices ultimately causing pain to another (usually a loved one).

Instead of asking Jesus for guidance and listening to his word, they strike the rock out of fear and frustration, just as my father chose to strike me in his fear of not knowing what to do in that moment my sister and I ran into the house. He could have taken a moment to ask Jesus, to THINK about what he was doing, but he struck and his promised land (the love of a daughter) was not to be realized.

By the grace of God, there is always hope.

My father has long since passed away. Although we were never close, the evening before he passed away I spent hours talking with him about God. I asked Jesus to help me look beyond the rock and he did.

My prayer to all who have witnessed or have been the recipients of abuse Is that you will learn to look beyond the rock and enjoy the promise of the joy of a healed heart and soul. As writers, leaders and children of God, we will be critiqued, and we must go to Jesus and ask for his guidance as we journey away from our fears and into our promised future.

To read more articles on child abuse, click on the following: A PASTOR’S ROLE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE



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