Today while Heather and I worked we listened to the live news feed of the Larry Nassar courtroom. It has been a while since I have felt such intense conflicting emotions in my heart all at the same time.
I felt horror at the details shared by these brave and courageous girls and women. The magnitude of specific details I heard in an hours time caused me to feel nauseous and want to scream for the torment this man inflicted on these girls.
I felt rage at how our institutional systems allow for the cover-up of such horrific events over such an extended period of time. I value institutions and institutional loyalty, but when the people who serve the community go silent and allow criminal acts to go unaddressed, it is difficult for me to honor the institution in any way. It is my hope, prayer and deep commitment to ensuring that I am always willing to speak the truth and advocate for what is right for the many communities I am a part of.
I felt gratitude and admiration for Judge Rosemarie Aquilina who has created space for so many women to find their voice and face their abuser. I am amazed at the capacity of her heart and all it is holding. I admire her for the way she is responding to every story spoken with words and spirit. To hear and respond to 100+ stories of harm requires her full attention and I have begun to pray for her daily. Perhaps she can bring her amazing gifts of truth and grace to our judicial system in other places in Michigan as well.
And I was amazed at the courage, clarity, and passion that exuded from every woman who spoke. From their ability to address their abuser, look him in the eye, talk with crisp words and still hold their vulnerability in their tears and honesty. I was reminded about the power that comes when one person begins to share honestly. It is an invitation of sorts, to others, to join in and unite. When people gather to share their most significant pain and in that identify their amazing strength, a bond is formed that overpowers evil and brings beauty from ashes.
And so, as I end this day, my heart aches for the ways so many women have been affected by this one man’s evil ways. And yet I marvel at how through their stories, they are declaring a commitment to continue on their journey of healing and to protect young children from this day forward.
We live in a broken world and are faced every day with a decision on how we will live. Let us live with a willingness to move into each other’s pain, sorrow, tears, and grief, believing that shared pain lightens the load and creates space for love, joy, purpose, and peace!