Speak Loudly

I’m joining the chorus by singing the same verse others have sung before me, because they said it as well or better than I ever could. I am a sincere fallible Christian, a sometimes-doubting-Thomas who on my best days struggles to articulate this faith that redeems this life for me and on my worst days wishes I could knock some ranting, raving blockhead-in-the-sand who claims to be a Christian off his soapbox. 

If you haven’t heard yet, Wesley Scroggins, a college professor in Missouri, has called for SPEAK to be banned. SPEAK is an honest raw novel full of Truth and Story that depicts a character who chooses not to speak after she is raped. She keeps quiet about what happened to her.

I need to be careful. I don’t want to imply that I believe Mr. Scroggins is not the Christian he claims he is. It’s not my judgement to make. And if Mr. Scroggins sincerely feels led by God and His word to make this call for banning, who am I to stand in his way? BUT I would caution him that a million and one misguided, perverted and abusive things have been done in the name of God. Are those abusive things done in the name of God reason enough for me to abandon my sincere desire to follow God and His word? Do those abusive acts done in the name of religion actually glorify God or my faith, just because someone says their intent was to glorify God? No they do not, just as a book portraying an abusive act of rape does not glorify sex just because someone says it does.

Frankly it’s perverted thinking to even imply that a depiction of rape glorifies sex.

 

We cannot be motivated to action by what we have fashioned as truth in our minds. We cannot create God in our own image. We cannot hide Truth. We have to Speak. Loudly. And we have to Love even more Loudly. Because rape happens. Abuse happens. And Jesus would not have been ranting and raving about the sex. He would have quietly had his arm around a hurting girl, showing her True Love and Acceptance in the face of her shame and insecurity. (In fact, he DID just that in John 4:7-24 for the Woman at the Well.)

My favorite quote from the posts I’ve read so far on this subject comes from Veronica Roth:

"Do you want your kids to understand just how beautiful the grace of God is? Then they have to understand how crappy the world is. It’s not just ‘a good idea.’ It’s necessary."
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Visual and Verbal

 I keep a commonplace book/journal that holds thoughts, quotes and the occasional drawing. 

(Stop laughing, those of you who know I cannot draw a straight line.) (Seriously. I mean it. You’re distracting me from telling my story.)

Anyway, I’ve been trying to paint, just to stretch myself, and for each thing I paint I write a poem. Again, a disclaimer. I am not an artist. But something about taking time to focus on something long enough to paint it lights my desire to use words to describe it. So I’m stretching myself. It’s good for me. (It might be good for you, too, this mix of the visual and the verbal?)

I like the way things with words turn out better than the things with paint. But I keep on. And I wanted to share with you the most recent entry. Here is the painting:

Here is the poem:

Do spotted hens
lay speckled eggs
that nest between
their spindly legs?

And do those chicks
have spots that match
the speckled eggs
from which they hatch?

And do their moms,
those spotted hens,
grow dizzy when
a hatch begins

and spots begin
to blur and mix
into a bunch
of scrambled chicks?

–Kristy Dempsey (all rights reserved)

In other news, I am loving my job as a librarian and creative writing teacher and feel like I am reaching in all the ways I need to. But I’d love to know how you all feel you’re stretching too. I need to be reminded I’m not in this yoga class alone. 🙂