cruel. From that point on shyness had to disappear one meeting at a time with school counselors. Social workers, rape information services, psychologist, polygraph tests, lawyers, foster homes. Destruction. The worst times of my life played over and over again, flipping like a broken reel to reel movie. The events prior didn't compare to the harsh and ugly reputation I felt I was deserving. Hard times and cruelty attacked, chopping away chunks of my self esteem. Yet that day, the day David said those words, "*&&%^$#$%^" was the day my life actually began in God's perfect timing.
Could it be that God allowed the words that were spoken to land in the right ears? No, not the kids who laughed and ridiculed, but the teacher who He placed in my life to shelter me. She listened carefully without asking too many questions. Her heart was open. God must have prepared her heart for that day. She knew what to look for. I immediately knew I could share with her without condemnation or judgement. Mrs. Lane talked to the guidance counselor. My name wasn't rubbed into dirt. I wasn't trashed or bashed but was cared for. Cared about. I needed the understanding they displayed. Although I was afraid of intimacy, I needed the security of feeling loved. God's love was displayed through the caring eyes of others.
Notebook after notebooks are still written on times like those. Only, I'm not the one writing them. Too many children are still sitting in classrooms with fear in them. Cell phones, computers and even composition books are still being filled with words such as, "He told me to take off my...." Spoken words don't come easy. Kids are still cruel. The aroma of shame continues to fill the classrooms, Sunday school classes, recreation departments and homes. Children are longing for someone to read between the lines of the tears that they hold back.
Think for a moment...note book is opened in front of you. It reads, HELP, but in different letters. Do you know what to do with it? Have you prepared your heart and mind in ways to help? Do you know what to do when you come face to face with a child in this situation? Will you throw the child and the notebook in the trash and walk away? Will you delete the electronic notes hoping to not be bothered by such ? It is impossible to empty the memory bank from you or the child. But there is a way to upload hope and security.
Pray that God will prepare the way if you do face this reality that a child will need you. He puts each of us here to be a place of rescue, a safe haven and a venue of healing. And even though it may take what seems to be way too long, He has perfect timing in the collision of hell on earth and hope. Listen to the silent screams with your eyes and your heart wide open and be prepared. It may take courage to step out and be the hero of hope and you may be the only courage there is to save the life of the muted child.
Pray . Educate yourself. Be ready to listen to the secrets. Be the ears, heart and mind for the hurting child. Trust is...a bandage to heal.
I remain forever grateful to those who dared and cared enough to listen. Words written forever in my heart, "I'm here."
Won't you be too?
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