In the living room with the lion and the lamb
Sep 23, 2009
Karen was sexually abused as a child. Now in her fifties, she sat in the chair across from me and told her story. Decades had passed without resolving the tension adequately with her father. As a grown woman, she was able to instantly lock into her feelings of betrayal from a daddy forever stuck in the past.
Her new friend Wayne sat on the couch to the left listening attentively with somber reflection. He had served time in prison for abusing his own children. He had not seen his own wife or children for a few years. Here was a troubled man wanting to examine his heart to understand why he had failed so horribly.
As they recounted their experiences and asked each other the tough questions, I saw understanding grow as both discovered a landscape not marked by history and fear. Karen was able to see a picture of remorse in Wayne. He was able to see the horrible impact that another had made on Karen. Both caught sight of what their lives could become beyond the offenses.
I was transfixed as I saw two people communicate fearlessly. They were both able to sit and listen without becoming defensive. A holiness settled into the living room. For a few moments, we experienced the lion and the lamb at peace together. What if Karen had this opportunity with her own father? What if Wayne were able to be make peace with his family?