Where Child Abuse Hides and How It Might Heal, Sunday or Not

17 08 2008

Here’s the church and here’s the steeple. Open the doors, and here’s all the people!

“A lot of survivors won’t go inside a church,” she said.
“So we wanted something that wouldn’t make people go inside.”

Odd and troubling power of story for a nursery rhyme with finger play, now that I stop to think about it. Doors work both ways, right? People flow out as well as in, back and forth freely without restraint? But my fingers don’t and can’t do that, they literally are of One Body — so those thumb-made church doors we played with as children weren’t really open at all, and all those funny little “people” I was delighted to see swaying together “inside” the church, were eternally attached to their seats inside. There wasn’t a single person outside and there never could be!

So the singsong rhyme taught us tangible, obvious truth that was a monstrous lie.

If you don’t remember that nursery rhyme, try an old-fashioned riddle.
How is Big School like Big Church?
People on the outside are leery of going in because they’ve learned one way of the other that people on the inside wish they’d either come in and shut the door behind them, or shut up and go away. Plenty of people both inside and outside resent the hell out of it all.

People wherever they are don’t all think and feel the same way. But most people in or out, for any reason, are able to remember that all people are well, still people!

I think it’s quite the metaphor for our most wrenching public policy concerns and contentions. I watched Rick Warren’s entire Saddleback event with McCain and Obama live last night, in his megachurch changing politics, and just marveled at how different people approach the same Big Questions, and how different observers hear their answers. . .

Here’s the haven deep and wide. Open the doors — and there’s no outside!
Here are the children full of feeling. Open the doors and let’s call it healing.