Time Magazine announced The Silence Breakers as Person of the year!
This year has been so difficult for many of us on the side of justice, righteousness, and glory. This year has almost taken my hope more times than I’d like to admit. And then, #Metoo happened. Hordes of women and men shared their stories, announced their attackers and abusers, and got everyone thinking and talking. A conversation about people of power abusing and oppressing powerless people turned into a gift of real power to those that were once without.
As a survivor, I can tell you that I no longer feel ashamed, at fault, or disgusting. I can now tell people that we need to believe these stories, we need to heal these people, and we need to act justly towards these sexual bullies. When people ask why do these people wait, I can now explain why, because I no longer have to be quietly sitting in the shadows either.
Time Magazine was right to give this movement and these speakers the Person of the Year award. It gives a big message: Where there is darkness, we will shine a light into the shadows, freeing the prisoner of darkness. It tells the world that we are ready to fight back. No amount of time passed, no lack of evidence, and no job loss will shut the oppressed up any longer.
The flood gates have opened. The conversation has started. Let’s keep this conversation going. Let’s not allow this to slip away into history like we have done to the mass shootings. Let’s keep bringing justice and hope to survivors. Teach your daughters to know an unsafe environment, to stand up and take charge, and when all that fails, to fight and name and seek healing. Let’s teach our boys that locker room talk shouldn’t involve bragging about sexual assault. Let’s teach them that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and that NO, in any form, means NO.
I hear a lot of people saying things are getting really bad. I think it’s always been happening, but under the rug. Well, now, along with racism and classism, it’s all on the table. It’s there for all to see and decide if we’ve ever added to the mess, if any of our under the rug deeds are there on the table to sort out. We can grow and unite, if we are willing to ask ourselves the hard questions of, “Have I ever added to this problem? How can I fix this about myself?”
I see God working here, and I hear Jesus in today’s message from Time and these speakers.
Matthew 5:3-12 The Message (MSG)
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
May we all go forward seeking justice, grace, mercy, peace, and humility.