Despite my best efforts, I still have flashbacks of that terrifying night, in which, I was raped by someone I was familiar with. I still have moments, where I can smell the Jack Beam mixed with Budweiser on his breath. I have moments where I can feel his rough, calloused hands squeezing tighter on my wrists. I still have horrid recollections of the smells, sounds, and circumstances of that appalling night.
For those that are new to reading my transparent life events, about 11 years ago, I was raped. It’s safe to assume – unless you are an in-compassionate ignoramus – that a rape victim has near right to justify any amount of her actions going forward. Being raped shocked and stunned me – as I have documented – in ways I can’t completely articulate and you may never fathom. I justified my bitterness, anger, rebellion, and addictions for many years because, truly, I never confronted my intimate perpetrator – literally nor figuratively.
I justified my toxicity.
I justified my maliciousness.
I justified my vindictiveness.
I justified my hatefulness.
Even if I had justifiable reason, I was doing what my perpetrator wanted: I was living in fear every single day; I wasn’t living my life, but living a fearful one.
Then it happened.
I finally had a remarkable breakthrough thanks to a devoted husband and loving God; I embraced my inner Jesus.
Granted, I’m still a work in progress, but my spiritual strides have been enormous and one can’t help but notice.
I have stopped justifying myself and living a victim’s life.
I have stopped justifying the means because I had the cause.
Causation without representation?
Representation without causation — I’m living a pretty positive life (I still have my moments) and take blame when I do perpetuate anything toxic; I take ownership of ever inflicting pain – with or without intent – on any person that I have ever crossed paths with.
I don’t justify my actions nor emotions, when attempted reconciliations fail. I can’t blame them for not forgiving someone who was a horrible wench even if that’s not a trait I don’t embody anymore. At the same time, I don’t beat myself up for those failed relationships – I don’t justify the means by any stretch of the imagination.
Folks have many ideals – correct and incorrect – about what Jesus stood for. Jesus was one man who changed the course of history for hundreds of years to come. At the very root of the human spirit, Jesus of Nazareth was a revolutionary that stood up – even when it cost him his life – against government, against hypocrisy, against religious murderers, against self-righteous people and in the process, stood up for ostracized.
He stood up for the little guy.
He stood up for the rape victim even when she was labeled a ‘whore’.
He stood up for the lepers even when they were social outcasts.
He stood up for women when they were looked at (and still are in some respect) as a winnable object.
He stood up for the ethnicities that were looked down upon.
Jesus is standing up for the LGBT community that so-called Christ followers bully so often with their arrogant depictions on the Bible.
Jesus is standing up for the communities of faith that are beaten into submission by Fundamentalism.
Jesus is standing up for teenage mothers and fathers.
Jesus is standing up for the homeless.
Jesus is standing up for the poor and needy.
Jesus is standing up for the depressed.
Jesus is standing up for the countless number of children who are bullied and ridiculed because they don’t look like society wants them to; Jesus is standing up for those unique souls that are staying true to how God designed them to be.
Jesus is standing up for the church outcasts.
So should we.
Less justification and more embracing our inner Jesus.
That’s what Jesus would do.