Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Arrest the Effects of Abuse Now

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Arrest the Effects of Abuse Now

Article excerpt

A Christian Science perspective: The news surrounding Penn State is a call to prayer.

With the continually unfolding events in, and continual media buzz about, the Penn State University molestation case, I have been praying to know how to contribute a healing perspective to the subject without just adding to the noise of outrage and defensiveness.

Reports of abuse are a call to prayer. We can, we must, pray for all those who are or have been abused. An understanding of the divine law of Love in prayer can redeem lives from darkness and damage.

Abuse - from subtle insults and bullying to the most heinous violation of innocence - does not have to leave an indelible black mark. There is a way out. Abuse is not the factor defining a person's life or potential. We all have a responsibility to seek out the arrest of not only the abuse and the abuser, but also the effects of selfishness and cruelty. God can erase completely all sad traces of abuse.

I am speaking from experience. Two incidents of sexual abuse - one as a child, another as an adolescent - threatened to limit and control my life and joy. Several years later I was dealing with chronic depression.

My method of coping with what had happened was to never think of it. Ever. It was filed so deeply that for a long time it never came to the surface of my thought. But other signs of post-traumatic stress - troubled dreams, memory problems, shame, irritability, self- destructive behavior - were daily concerns.

I began to pray every day for myself because I desperately wanted to feel better. I didn't link my problems to the earlier abuse. I concentrated on understanding what it meant for God to be truly good, the source of all good and the maintainer of my wholeness.

This consistent daily prayer helped me understand more of God's nature and of my own spiritual individuality, which is entirely separate from mortal, material, evil influences. I was empowered by this prayer and became more and more conscious of my permanent link with divine Life, eternal Truth, spiritual Love. Life, Truth, and Love are other names for the one true God.

Some weeks into this prayer, I remembered the earlier abuse. …

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