Apprehending Forgiveness In The Aftermath Of Rape


For each one us who are rape victims trying to apprehend true reconciliation in most cases we need a force that transcends both the oppressed and oppressor. As a last resort, for
most of us we cannot define what constitutes our total humanity. In reality it transcends us. I think that we all tend to wear masks, the mask of superiority, and some of us the masks of inferiority, and the mask of worthlessness especially for those of us who know and feel what it is to be victimized. It is not easy to let our masks come off or our walls of defence to come down to discover the little child hidden inside us who yearns for the light of hope and love and who fears being hurt. The concept of forgiveness however; implies the removal of all those masks,
and entering into a vulnerable acceptance of who we truly are.
The realization that yes; we have been hurt & yes; we have sometimes hurt others. Forgiveness of ourselves, then, implies an acceptance of our true value. The loss of a false self-image, if it is an image of superiority, or the need to hide the shame
and the brokenness of our heart that most often causes anguish and inner pain. We can only except this pain if we discover our true self “beneath” all those masks and realize that if we are broken, we are also more beautiful than we ever dared to suspect. When we realize our brokenness in this
manner, we don’t have to fall into depression and despair.
When we see our true beauty inside as human beings; we do not have to become proud. Seeing our own brokenness and beauty allows us to recognize, hidden under the brokenness and self-centeredness of others, their beauty,
their value, and their sacredness.
I realize that this discovery is sometimes a leap in the dark, a blessed moment, a moment of grace, a moment of enlightenment that comes in a personal meeting and relationship with the God of Love, who reveals to those who try to be receptively meek of heart, that we are His beloved and so is everyone else.
When we have this earnest desire to struggle and grow for wholeness in ourselves, in others, in our communities, & the world, and as we desire to be free in order to free others from their prison of pain and victim hood, a new energy is born within us. An energy that flows freely from God. It is as though we were crossing the Red Sea from slavery to freedom. It is then that we can start to live the pain of loss and accept anguish because a new love and consciousness of self are being given to us.
Looking back to the time of Jesus; his teachings and his invitation to love one’s enemies must have appeared dangerously Utopian to the Galileans as I’m sure it is for many even in present day. Maybe it was only when they saw him standing up to
the religious leaders of his day, pursuing a courageous and dangerous course of love, truth, and the liberation of the oppressed, that some of his followers began to understand
that this was a new way to struggle for peace and to break the seemingly unending chain of human oppression.
Loving our enemies means to see them as individuals who are perhaps caught up in a cycle of fear, and of oppression, and in their weak character traits and need for power, but who are individuals nonetheless and are, beneath everything sacred and precious. Their secret person is hidden behind walls of fear.
To love them is to hope and yearn that instead of living a form of self-destruction, locked up in their own pride and power,
hoping they can be liberated. On the night before he died, Jesus knelt humbly down before his disciples, washes their feet,
and called them to do the same. Was it not because Jesus knew how power can be used to crush and enslave people, rather than to empower and free all sinners ? Indeed; I think we all need to discover this new force of love and kindly friendship of
forgiveness that comes from God. This vision of love and forgiveness is humanly possible. I believe that Jesus’ invitation to love our enemies is also a promise, true for Christians and non Christians alike. What we cannot do by ourselves, we can do with this inner power of the Spirit, which transforms
our hearts of stone, founded on fear & pain, into the hearts of human flesh, open and vulnerable to others.
Through the gift of God’s Spirit we receive a new power that humbly permits us to stand firm in love. To forgive is to break down the walls of hostility that separate us, and bring each other out of anguish, of loneliness, fear, and chaos into oneness. This oneness is born when we walk in mutual trust, and acceptance, & the freedom to be ourselves in our uniqueness and beauty. The freedom to exercise our talents and gifts. We need no longer be contained or held back by fear, prejudices, or the need to prove ourselves. We need this sense of oneness and belonging which is necessary for opening our hearts in this needing of each other whether we are weak or strong, capable or not. This oneness and belonging need not bring feelings of superiority if we are walking towards “inner freedom”. It should be important to us not to exclude the weak,
the needy, and those who are different, because they all have a secret power that opens up people’s hearts & leads them to compassion and mutual trust. This oneness and belonging becomes a song of gratitude for each one of us.
Of course it takes time and patience. But are we not all called to take this journey in life ?
I believe it’s necessary if we want to become fully human, to conquer divisions and oppression and to work for peace.
If each of us together begins this journey today and has the courage to forgive and be forgiven, we will no longer
be governed by are hurts. Wherever we may be…in our families, our work places, our friends, or in places of
worship or of leisure…we can all rise up and be agents of a new land of peace. We are not saviours but simply human beings; enfolded in weakness and in hope, all called together to change
our world one human heart at a time.


I think this is one of the most sensitive , Holy Spirit inspired writings , I have read or heard discussed. The acutely pin point accuracy of some of the insights is almost startling.
Much, Much rich food for thought. I tip my hat to you! Leeray:tiphat:

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