Thursday, October 30, 2008

how much do i love god?


i read on a friend's facebook page the dorothy day quote - i love god only as much as the person i love the least. that has really been buzzing in my brain for the last few days since i read it. there are a lot of people i don't love. people that get on my nerves. people that i think are against me. people that i hate.
i saw a man yesterday who i sometimes see in the neighb. he was walking ahead of me up the subway stairs out to the street. he used to go to my church and when i was a teenager, unbeknownst to me, he was sexually abusing a dear friend of mine from youth group. i found out about the abuse years later. everytime i see this man, this pedophile, it absolutely gallls me. i get so upset i shake. i want to spit on him! i'm not sure why he isn't in jail. something about the statute of limitations. as soon as i saw him i thought of that dorothy day quote - it just popped right into my head! i have not come to any conclusion or answer ... i'm just mulling it over with god for now. i don't feel like i have to love this person - that is too much to consider for now. but, maybe i can let go and let god love this man. maybe i can look at him as a flawed child of god instead of as a pedophile, an abuser, evil.
being a christian does not mean being a doormat. i'm not suggesting i forgive and forget - this man is still a danger to teenaged boys. i do not believe that there is a cure for pedophilia. however, there is a cure for self-righteous anger and hatred. i am so sorry for my friend. i am sorry that there are people who hurt children teenagers, animals, victims who can't defend themselves. i can't understand it all and i don't have to. that's not my job. it's god's job. i can let god do her job.

4 comments:

Muthah+ said...

Jen, I have a former colleague who abused young men in the church. He was defrocked. I saw him recently. I still love him but I have such mixed feelings about him. It is the kind of sadness that overwhelms the soul. I don't hate him. I am just emensely sad and angry that he had so little will power, or had deluded himself so much. It helps me remember that there are sins that I commit--maybe not as serious as his--that I delude myself into just as surely. It is strange that I don't get as sad about my sins as I am about his. It is something I grapple with.

I hope you are finding religious life fulfilling. I was a novice in an earlier time before I was ordained. I miss the community and the prayerlife.

a square peg said...

just found your blog via the blogging episcopalians webring. this is a powerful post. this is what draws me to christianity, even as i struggle with my faith, this self-examination, this attempt to live the life christ modeled for us. i'm glad i found your blog.

Anonymous said...

saint thomas aquinas said that to love it to will the good of another, and Jesus tells us to "pray on behalf of those who persecute you," I'm not saying that we should by any means turn a blind eye to this type of behavior, and of course we shoulg be prudent and use our reason in dealing with these situations, but merely that we must continue to love our brothers and sisters as we are all sinners. Just my thoughts : )

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