I speak of Moira Greyland who wrote “The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon.” Moira’s story is an important one, one Christians especially need to hear, and it’s not a pleasant story at all, it’s a story of horrific child abuse, psychological, emotional, sexual, that has left lasting scars. It’s an important story because it shatters some myths, demolishes some narratives about the LGBT community and it reveals the downside of tribalism, the way morality can become totally subjective, right or wrong being defined not by what you do, but by who you are.
It is a dark abyss of moral ambiguity, a really challenging swamp to fight your way out of.
Moira is not alone either, there are literally hundreds of thousands of us who grew up in some really abusive, emotionally devastating situations, situations fueled by the sexual revolution, by narcissistic parents, and by extreme liberalism or by what some would call the far left. The culture we created by throwing out all tradition, all morality, all standards, did some major harm, damaged some real live people and left lasting scars.
I have a memorial to those who did not survive, a number of children whose lives ended in suicide, addiction, or devastating health issues caused by extreme stress, PTSD.
I watch the #Metoo movement, the #churchtoo movement, one might even say I am well pleased by the Great Shaking going on, but in the back of my mind, or rather burned into my very soul, is this keen awareness that faith does not cause child abuse, that “patriarchy,” is a false flag, that there are thousands of hurting, broken people who barely survived the sexual revolution, feminism, our attempts to redesign society into this utopian vision of sexual freedom.
Moira like me, found the Lord, even in the midst of abuse, of moral ambiguity, of cultural genocide, even in the midst of extreme atheism. Perhaps a better way to say that is, the Lord found us.
It’s hard to put a positive spin on such darkness, such horrific evil, and there’s this need to make people understand how awful the damage really is, how painful, how it was literally the theft of a child’s mind, body, and spirit, impacting every area of your life. There is no nook or cranny of your very being left untouched.
I don’t want to gloss over that, I don’t want to minimize the harm, but I do want to celebrate a couple of things, I want to praise the Lord, I want to infuse this darkness with hope, hope that I often see lacking when Moira’s story is being retold. Life is short, there are huge celebrations that should not be missed, a full inheritance from the Lord waiting to be claimed. Chaos, confusion, shame, the remnants of PTSD, need not define you anymore. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free and He restores, He redeems, He replaces what has been stolen, ten times over. But that is a promise that must be claimed. We have not because we ask not.
It’s a message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops until life and life abundant is just pouring into every nook and cranny of every abuse victim anywhere. You are not what has happened to you, you are not your past, your identity need not live there within the dark places anymore. The harm done is real enough, but complete healing can be just as real.
Sometimes I fear that as our culture exposes victimization, toxic secrets, and begins to speak the truth, we often leave out the part about how the Lord can rewrite the whole story, surprise us with His many plot twists, that the broken parts are actually beautful to Him, that they can rise up to Him like fragrant poetry. There is beauty lurking in our suffering, it is part of what makes us human. Our humanness is beautful because we are made in His image and He is beautful. He is more beautful, more powerful than we can even imagine, and we have been fashioned in His likeness.
Today I haven’t got scars, instead I have a melody of poetic praise that lifts His name on high, a flair for the melodramatic, a sharp wit and the strength of some real gallows humor. That is the kind of beauty He can hand us for our ashes. Don’t forget the hope, the hope in Him is real, it has an evidence and a substance that is tangible.
I going to post the entirety of Psalm 91, and speak life over anyone who fears their scars are too big, who has not yet claimed freedom, claimed their full inheritance of resoration and healing that the Lord promises.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”