Monthly Archives: March 2019

God Is Completely Other. Harry Is Just Evil.

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The last time I saw McT we talked about the difficulty I have with taking showers. And just to clarify, taking a bath is just as hard for me as taking a shower is.

The very first abuse memory I had was of Harry trying to force me into having oral sex with him when we were in the shower when I was about two years old, and I had it during a therapy session with McT. Harry forced me to have oral sex, so I got confused and lost control of my bowels and pooped on the shower floor, which enraged him. As a result he picked up the feces and threw it at me, and then forced me to eat it.

First off, I forgive him.

Needless to say, the shower is an emotionally charged place for me, and it’s nigh unto impossible for me to take one without major advance preparations.

There are a number of things I’m afraid of. For one thing, I’m terrified I’ll have new and more horrific memories of things Harry did to me in the shower while I’m taking a shower. It’s happened before. That seemed to be a favorite place of his. I don’t know what his deal was, but he just loved to get to me while I was in the bathroom, and especially while I was in the shower. And that first memory was one that he initiated.

The other memories I’ve had mostly centered around him bringing other men in to have sex with me while Harry watched, sometimes in the shower, and sometimes not. I’ve had memories of them paying him; it was always a very small amount of money, because Harry didn’t want me to get the idea that I was actually worth anything. He allowed me to see the amount of money, and told me how much it was, so I would know just how little I was worth, and just how bad the sex was that they were getting from me.

Seriously? I didn’t ask for this, damnit!! You’re the one who forced it on me!! If you didn’t like what you were getting, then you should have gone some place where your presence was desired!!

And always, Harry watched. He got his jollies watching. And always, I forgive him.

Sometimes I get tired of forgiving him. It doesn’t seem to do any good. But I have to remember that I’m not forgiving him for him. I’m doing it for me, because that’s what God commands. And I desire above all else to please God. God isn’t Harry. God isn’t my father. God is my Father, and completely OTHER. God is absolutely different from Harry, completely OTHER.

I have to remember that. God is completely OTHER.

Justice and Mercy Both Win at the Cross

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God showed me something this morning. I was driving to a doctor’s appointment and listening to a song on the radio. The song reminded me of a Scripture verse I’ve been thinking about recently, James 2:12-13,

So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. ~ James 2:12-13, NKJV.

What I realized was, at the cross God got the justice He required for humanity’s sin because Jesus bore the punishment for our sins by dying for us. But God isn’t only a just God, He’s also a merciful God; two of His attributes are justice and mercy, not just justice. And at the cross God required justice, but He also desired mercy for His dealings with mankind. So He got justice by allowing Jesus to bear the punishment we deserved, and then gave us His mercy and grace as a free gift instead.

How cool is that?!

Instead of the justice and punishment we deserved, we got the mercy and grace we didn’t earn ~ and sonship! We became sons and daughters of God because we were adopted into the family of God!

All we have to do is receive His free gift of salvation by faith. We don’t have to be good enough, or clean enough, or anything enough. All we have to do is confess with our mouth and believe in our hearts according to Romans 10:9-10,

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. ~ Romans 10:9-10, NLT.

It doesn’t seem like a fair exchange, does it? Maybe that’s because it’s not, but who am I to argue when I get by far the best end of the deal! I mean, all God gets is little ole, imperfect me. And I get Jesus Christ as a big brother, and saved, and redeemed, and the whole Kingdom of God, and Heaven, and a relationship with God, and EVERYTHING!!

Such a deal!! It absolutely boggles my mind, and fills me to overflowing with such gratitude that I can hardly think straight!

Thank you, Jesus!!

Where Else Would I Go?

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I’ve heard it said that Christianity in America is on dangerous ground these days, because we have so many media choices to choose from that fewer and fewer people will be sharing the same metanarrative. But that’s not only true for Christianity. It’s true for every worldview.

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, a metanarrative is “an overarching account or interpretation of events and circumstances that provides a pattern or structure for people’s beliefs and gives meaning to their experiences.” Media can shape the kind of metanarrative we hold, and the fewer media choices there are, the more likely we are to share metanarratives with those around us. That’s the way things were before the information age arrived.

Now, however, everything is different, because we have the internet.

Now everyone can access information on all the various social, political, and economic systems, not to mention the whole range of religious worldviews, plus we can customize our media consumption to suit our own individual needs and whims. And because we have such a wide variety of choices, and so many different religious and cultural metanarratives to choose from, each different metanarrative, such as Christianity, is less persuasive and influential than ever before.

With all these choices, people are more likely to isolate and construct their own micronarrative, rather than engage in shared narratives with others.

My answer to all this is found in John’s Gospel, Chapter Six,

After this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” ~ John 6:66-68, ESV.

In other words, regardless of how many micronarratives or metanarratives are out there, there’s only one narrative that’s going to save my soul and get me into Heaven, and that’s the Story of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, and resurrection on the third day.

So no matter how many choices they present me with, my answer will always be, “Where else would I go? Only Jesus has the words of eternal life.”

Monsters Aren’t Monsters. They’re Evil Humans.

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When someone commits a particularly heinous and horrific crime, especially if he perpetrates a whole series of extremely monstrous and evil acts, people ofttimes refer to that person as a monster. But I don’t think such a one is a monster because, it seems to me, giving them such a designation makes them less than human, and it feels like somehow that excuses their behavior.

I think rather they’re fully human, just as human as any other person on earth. The difference is, they’re giving place to the lowest, most sordid, wicked, degenerate, and evil desires that a human being can have. Rather than allowing God to reign in their minds, they’re giving Satan free rein. Rather than being a mix of evil and good, as most people are, they are entirely and perfectly evil, with no good in them, or at the most, very little good.

I’m not sure there is a human being who is perfectly evil with absolutely no good, because it’s hard for me to think about giving up on anyone. God didn’t give up on me when I was at my worst. Seems to me the only one who is entirely evil with absolutely no good is Satan himself, but I could be wrong about that. There might be others who’ve sold their souls to him, I suppose.

Another aspect of this, though the connection may be somewhat tenuous, is when people commit murder and then kill themselves. I’ve always thought people who commit such crimes perpetrate them and then commit suicide so they don’t have to face justice. But I think they’re only thinking about human justice, without considering divine justice, which is much more sure and all-encompassing, because God knows all the facts of the case.

Seems to me such people have, at the very least, a poor understanding of who God is, if they believe He exists at all. If they truly understood God they would know that it would be better to face justice in human courts than to have deal with the consequences of God’s divine justice. In a human court they might be able to get away with lying, if they’re good enough at it, plus they might be able to hide their true motivations before a human judge, whereas that’s not possible with God. God knows our deepest motivations, and the thoughts and intents of our hearts. You can’t put anything past God.

But there could be another reason why people commit suicide after they perpetrate these heinous crimes: maybe they all of a sudden realize what they’ve done, and they find it so unacceptable that they decide they don’t deserve to live any longer. In other words, they’ve created an extreme example of internal cognitive dissonance by their actions, so they kill themselves, thus exacting capital punishment on themselves before anyone else has time to carry it out.

However, in punishing themselves, they’re proving once again that they don’t understand God’s character at all. It says in James, Chapter 2,

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. ~ James 2:12-13, NIV.

What that says to me is that while God is a god of judgment, He is also a god of mercy, and if we are merciful in our dealings with other people, He will allow mercy to reign over judgment in His relationship with us. They’ve also shown that they believe they’ve committed the unpardonable sin, or at least it’s unpardonable to them, and they think it deserves the death penalty. Seems to me they’re saying that they know better than God, which sounds a little arrogant to me, but what do I know.

I for one would much rather have God’s mercy than His judgment, and God is far smarter than I am as far as whether my sins are forgivable or not, so I think I’ll let Him make those decisions!

I Hate When That Happens!

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The other day I was on my way to a therapy appointment when I came to a huge traffic jam blocking my route. Traffic going the opposite direction was flowing smoothly, but on my side it was pretty much a parking lot. It became abundantly clear in fairly short order that I would be late for my appointment if I didn’t do something drastic.

This was an important appointment for me, because McT and I had scheduled a two hour time slot. I’d never had a two hour therapy appointment before, so I was really looking forward to this session.

I managed to stay calm for a while, until I realized for sure that I was going to be late. I called McT and left a message with that information, and told him that I was very frustrated about the fact that I wasn’t going to get my whole two hour session. In fact, I wasn’t just frustrated, I was yelling-out-loud pissed, and my anger was mostly at God.

I hate it when I feel angry at God. When I get angry at God it never feels right or justified, but sometimes circumstances get all messed up, and everything goes contrary to my plans.

I know the saying that says, If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

But I’m just not mature enough yet to be able to not get angry when something happens, especially if a lot of somethings happen, to mess up my plans. It always feels like God made it happen that way on purpose. I know that probably sounds ridiculous, but it’s the way I feel.