Saturday, December 10, 2005

I just witnessed a case of domestic abuse. You may know that my second floor apartment overlooks the street. It was about 12.30AM, and I was sitting writing a paper on feminist ethics (ironically) when I heard screaming, a slap and the dull thud of kicks. I looked out the window and saw a girl about my age lying on the ground next to her bike with her boyfriend standing over her. There was a group of their friends standing around yelling at each other. And here I was, this little rich educated seminarian standing up in the window staring at them in horror. I felt like such an intruder. And I was so shocked. For a moment I had a birds' eye view of the violence, fear, and oppression faced by many everyday. And then... no one did anything. They didn't even call the police; someone else did. The girl refused to file a report, and though I hope she will change her mind I cannot feign optimism. I just want to cry, hold them in my arms, tell them of the beauty and goodness within them, and give them a vision of the hope Christ has called them to. Sigh. Nouwen wrote of "the burden of reality". "Can we carry the burden of reality? How can we remain open to all human tragedies and aware of the vast ocean of human suffering without becoming mentally paralyzed and depressed? How can we even smile when we keep being confronted by pictures of tortures and executions?" But still we must "ask ourselves how many games we play with ourselves and how many walls we keep erecting to prevent ourselves from knowing and feeling the burden of human solidarity."

Look with pity, O Heavenly Father and Mother, upon the people in this land who live in injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion for the riches of this our land; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
-From the Book of Common Prayer


At 5:26 PM, Blogger Dustin James said...

Hey Joy, just checkin' yur blog out. Looks great! I bet your trip to the Holy land was amazing. Talk to ya soon. Dustin

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Kevin Lewis said...

Joy, her scream woke me up that night. I looked outside and couldn't see anything. I have a friend that I think intervened once for this girl when the two were having an argument. It is especially troubling when the woman continues to be in a relationship with this guy. I echo your prayer to God, and I hope they will see the tangible love of Christ by our neighbors all around them.


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