~Job 9:18 [God] will not allow me to get my breath, But saturates me with bitterness.
~Job 10:1 I loath my own life; I will give full vent to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
~Job 13:26 For Thou dost write bitter things against me. And dost make me to inherit the iniquities of my youth.
~Job 27:2 As God lives, who has taken away my right, And the Almighty, who has embittered my soul.
Note that Job said that he would speak in the bitterness of his soul. Bitter things happened to him and he felt confident enough that he could confess his bitterness. Even in the face of well-meaning but misguided friends, he did not hold in his bitterness. He gave full vent to his complaint. Something was terribly wrong and the answer was not to just paint on a smile and pretend his world wasn't falling apart.
Too many abused women in the church have been told to paint on a smile and bury their bitterness. Too many abused women have not been allowed to speak about their bitterness. Too many abused women in the church have been surrounded by "Job's comforters" in their times of deep need. Internally they were bleeding and dying on the Jericho road and needed someone to pour in the oil and the wine. Instead, they were sent away with a, "Be filled, Be comforted" message, or worse, a "What did you do to bring this upon yourself?" message.
My prayer for 2009 is that the church will stop this madness of ignoring and enabling abuse and to face it head on. And this goes for abused men as well as women.
The Line at Mars Hill's Communion Table
34 minutes ago