Teresa MacBain is finding the reporting on Josh Duggar harrowing; it resonates with her experience as a pastor.
I couldn’t shake the deep sorrow that I felt (and feel) for his victims, and the outrage at the way some Christians are ignoring the victims and excusing Duggar’s behavior. Five precious children fell victim to abuse, yet very few are speaking up for them. This is why I can’t remain silent.
It’s really quite astonishing how thoroughly the victims are being ignored and indeed negated by the Christian fans of the Duggars.
Teresa has one pastoral experience burned into her memory:
I received a call from an elderly parishioner one summer day many years ago. She asked me to come by for a visit, which happened often. I’d spent many hours at her home over the years and didn’t think anything of her invitation. .As I walked into her home, I could sense that something wasn’t quite right. Her usual cheerful, bright demeanor was replaced with deep sadness and grief. It felt as if the light in the room was slowly being extinguished. There, in her living room, she opened her mouth to speak, but tears began to stream down her face instead. Once she composed herself, she told me about her recent discovery that her 6-year-old granddaughter had been sexually molested by her 13-year-old cousin. Pastors are taught to remaining calm and in control, but that ‘skill’ couldn’t keep me from weeping as I sat with this broken-hearted grandmother. I was horrified then and I’m horrified now.
Sorrow is the right response; sorrow for the people harmed; not sanctimonious joy at the redemption of the perpetrator.
This isn’t a lemons into lemonade situation.