Isaiah 41:9-10 (CJB)
9 I have taken you from the ends of the earth,
summoned you from its most distant parts
and said to you, ‘You are my servant’ —
I have chosen you, not rejected you.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you;
don’t be distressed, for I am your God.
I give you strength, I give you help,
I support you with my victorious right hand.
I have come to recognize the value, beauty and sacredness of each woman's story. In fact, the more dishonoring and riddled with pain and trauma the more I have come to hold that story as sacred and to be guarded with great care.
Each story is unique and it is tempting to keep them, to hold onto them and to exploit them to elicit a response of support, sympathy or shock from anyone who will listen. The gift of stepping for a moment or season into their world, their heart, their mind is a gift. Initially, compassion in response to story moves many of us to action. We learn the art of receiving the story and holding ourselves as available and willing listeners willing to step into their pain for a moment. The key then becomes knowing what to do with the story and how to let it go.
We now have an obligation to not join in the exploitation, dishonoring or glorifying of the evil that threads through her story and brought her to our door.
We need to learn to let her decide and choose when and where that story is shared and used and help build in boundaries and protections for ourselves, each other and each woman.
We have to learn from the moment our heart is captured by the need to save, to fix or to bind up that we too are bound by the line of self and other. The Holy Spirit does not go where we have said no or push us before we are ready. In the same way we, armed with our sense of self-righteousness and justice, must not go beyond the boundaries set, or it is us accomplishing, us overtaking, or us using her story against her.
Ultimately, when we are given the privilege of entering into another person's story we must hold it loosely and learn to let go because He will not. For every broken, crushed and forgotten one their is a Savior who is unrelenting, unyielding in His love and will remain on guard to the end of every story.
May you learn the art of letting go! May you entrust the sacred story to His hands and care!
May you be freed to receive and to give back, to offer the kind of love you too have been offered!