Sunday, 11 December 2016

Monsters Amongst Us

Monster: a person of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty.

In high school I attended a party with a set of friends different than my close ones. A young man I knew was holding court, that is, he had a few people around him and was telling a story. I walked over to hear what he was saying. I heard a description of an event in which he forced himself on a young woman who tried to fight off his advances. As he explained the woman`s reaction the man was laughing. I punched him in the mouth, left him on the floor, and left the party. Later on the young woman thanked me for what I had done.
Erin Van Vuren
"Every monster has a sob story, be careful who you help."
Sixteen years ago my oldest daughter was born. Two months later; out of five thousand people I was one of twelve picked to sit on a jury for a murder trial. Two young girls had their throats slit and had been left to die, eventually they bleed to death alone in an industrial parking lot. One had been sexually assaulted. I was elected foreman and had to face the girls assailant and read aloud the guilty verdict.

Ten years ago I heard about the forced prostitution of young Cambodian girls, especially upsetting to me was hearing of how many men from the western world went to take advantage of the girls.

This week a link to a facebook feed frightened me. It was from a Cambodia newspaper and mentioned the arrest of a Dutch man, and the search for another man. In spite of my fear I clicked on the article and read about the horrific abuse of a two year old boy by these men. The boy had been sexually assaulted and had been subjected to a stun gun on various parts of his body. Many on facebook were obviously shocked, and upset. Many comments were made of what should be done to the perpetrators, many comments of concern and prayer were offered up for the boy.
What disturbed me the most of this story was that these assaults were video taped. One of the assailants was caught with 46 videos.
It is one thing to think of a few sick individuals, it is a totally different thing to think of the market for this type of video and where the men who view it may live?
Some may be my neighbours, and the only thing stopping this type of person from acting out their sickness is their fear of law and order.

What do I or can I do with this knowledge? I reinforce my prayer for a hedge of protection around me, my loved ones, and my friends and their families. 
I will continue to run, for running has taken the place of my fist and in a way that only God could orchestrate has become a voice for abused people.
I picked todays race months ago and wondered why? It is extremely difficult. It is not a marathon, but I find it harder to finish than some longer distance races I have run. It is 10.8 km straight up two hills. The only time it is fun is at the finish. To make the race harder is that it is snowing, and the huge hills are slick with snow and ice.

Today I ran for the two year old boy in Cambodia I will never meet. I dedicated these hills to him. I will not stop. I pray that those around him never stop their therapy, their love, their support, their donations, their prayer, and their tears until he meets the only One who can give him complete healing. As I start up the first hill I think of these words from Mark Buchanan in one of his books: ( I changed the writing from female to male)

"I sat one day with a young man who had a desolate past, a blighted landscape of childhood neglect and sexual abuse. As he poured out his story I sat speechless. His past was beyond repair, at least on my watch. But God showed me he still had his future. And it was vast, unbroken, pristine, radiant. It was pure promise: a glory that would be revealed in him, a glory that far outweighed his troubles.  Some days his past mounts it`s best attempts to reclaim him for it`s own. He has learned to keep taking hold of his citizenship in heaven. He has learned to refuse surrender for anything else. His past was a tragedy to lament. But his future is an epic to anticipate. Which is simply to say: what will happen matters more than what has happened."

Though I live amongst monsters. I will continue my work. I serve a God who one day will devour all monsters.


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