God is there...

In the pain and brokeness, God is there...

The man in all of our newspapers, radio and TV broadcasts at the moment is Harvey Weinstein.  He has been accused of rape (claims that he denies) and also denies sexual harassment in a variety of forms.  The accounts of his alleged actions are lurid and pretty shocking, as is the spectacular fall from grace that he has displayed – a highly revered man (thanked in Oscar speeches more than God, apparently) whose reputation is now in tatters.

In part connected to the Weinstein revelations, an invitation has been shared on social media for people to post #metoo if they have suffered some form of sexual harassment.  Social Media feeds everywhere are full of people (women and men) indicating that they too have been harassed in a sexual nature – be it verbal or physical, an isolated incident or harassment that has lasted for years. 

I have been shocked by the number of people who have posted #metoo; people who have been enabled to break down the wall of silence and indicate the treatment that they have experienced.

So, where is God in all of this? Amidst the tears, the brokenness, the damage and the pain, where is God to be found? It’s hard not to sound glib about this, but my answer is simple: Present. 

God does not abandon us when things get especially difficult or harrowing: the Psalms are testimony to this.  Jesus also says “come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  Jesus understands that we may be carrying burdens and he offers to be a refuge from that; he offers understanding and solace, healing and hope. 

My prayer for us all this month is that whatever hardships and burdens we may be carrying (and possibly prompted to remember and re-live by the media), we may know the love and understanding of God, and the healing and wholeness he brings.

Rev Em Coley

This article first appeared in the November 2017 edition of the St Leonard's Parish Magazine