Monday, July 03, 2006
Is Anybody Listening?
I was completely blown away when a Swiss journal for feminist Biblical studies asked me to submit my article on the Rape of Dinah (Genesis 34) this Spring. I was also struck when a representative of the Attourney General's Sexual Assault Task Force asked me Thursday to join the committee. God pushes, but I never knew it would be this hard.
Ever since my first sermon on domestic violence (in 1995) my wife and I have been on a roller-coaster ride. We have both been immersed in ministry to a dark world of pain, injustice, suffering, and fear. Yet God shines in the darkness and has brought healing to many women and children suffering alone. We see the power of God in the lives of many, only to be proded to tell others about the secret things of the dark world of abuse, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Then God sends us back not only to listen but to tell those in the darkness that their voices and screams are heard.
It makes me wonder, and you can wonder too, if God is the only one listening. How often have we been silent on this issue? How often have we heard a sermon or class on sexual violence? Even worse, since we have about 5 Biblical texts that address this, how often have we heard them taught? In Genesis 34 Dinah never says a word. Neither does her father Jacob (at least not until the end). Why doesn't she scream? Why doesn't he call for justice?
What do you think?