It is time for some good news.
He is risen.
I know He is risen because I have seen resurrection.
It was a year ago that I first got to know K. K is S’s daughter. It was not when I met her. I met her when we moved here, but it was when I got to know her. I got to know her in a terrible way.
We got to know one another because I was S’s friend and pastor and I had begun to be his wife’s pastor. We met in the church nursery to partake in communion together and talk about what happened to K.
K was brutally assaulted in our church building–in her church building. She was bullied, threatened, and violently sexually assaulted in the building. Nearly every Sunday K would have panic attacks simply by walking through the building. E made things worse because he was…well, he was E and that is another story.
I had the idea to talk with K about resurrection and redemption and to walk around the building praying. In the nursery, we drank wine, ate bread and talked. The adults were sitting in chairs, K was scrunched up on the floor–never looking up, seldom talking, never smiling. Then we went on our prayer walk. We went to each room where she was assaulted and, in very, very painful detail, she recounted the ways this monster attacked her. Then we would pray, “God redeem this room and bring your resurrection here.”
There were many places we stood outside and prayed because K could not enter. We all wept. At the end, we returned to the nursery, ate more bread, drank more wine and prayed, “God, we beg you, come and heal.”
Now it is a year later and we, again, met in the nursery over bread and wine.
We all sat in chairs and talked freely. Time came to begin. We prayed, poured the wine and broke the bread. We started talking about how things have changed in the last year. K was smiling and talking about how different life was. We talked and laughed and talked some more. Then we were ready to go on our walk.
The first stop was the auditorium. A very scary place for K.
K is a musician and was a member of our praise team. TL, the abuser, was as well. He used the times of worship as times to assault K. He destroyed her music and her worship. As we looked around the auditorium, I winced at all of the things K had told us the last time.
K has music again. She sings and plays nearly every Sunday. We spent about 40 minutes talking about all of the ways God has changed the auditorium into a sanctuary for her again. She doesn’t fear it. Her dad doesn’t hate it. K has music again. We talked at length about how she worships when she plays.
I am telling you, she glows when she plays and sings.
We went to the sound booth. Some of the most insidious assaults happened here. With K’s father singing on stage, TL would whisper threats and physically attack her–all under the cover of the booth. K couldn’t even approach the booth a year ago. Last night, we stood in the booth, laughed and prayed. I told K, she looks like resurrection to me.
We went to a really, really ugly dark corner in the basement of the youth building. We reflected on how in the last year, K, had participated in painting the area. She looked around the area and laughed about how TL did not own this place. He did not terrorize her any more.
We went to a girls bathroom. It is in the children’s area of the church. TL had followed her in to hurt her. Now she uses that bathroom. It is just a place to go to the bathroom. God even redeems bathrooms.
Before we began, S and I talked about what we would do with places that still had nothing redeeming about them. We said we would just talk about how it is all a work in progress–just like K is. There were no places.
We went back to the nursery, poured more wine and toasted to the resurrection. We all prayed together. K’s prayer was one of the most moving prayers I have ever heard.
I know the resurrection, her name is K.