Hat People Myopia

I have a childlike way of seeing the world. There is a story in The Little Prince that I have found very useful over the years.

The narrator tells us that he once drew a picture of a snake swallowing an elephant. When he showed the picture to most people the drawing they exclaimed,

nice hat!

They could not picture the inside of the snake–the hidden elephant, if you will. He determined to talk to the hat people about insubstantial things–golf, the weather.

I find my hat picture is acknowledging great darkness in this world. Who wants to read about child abuse? Who really wants to write about it?

Not me.

I would rather not. I have done it aggressively, unapologetically over the last two years because I realized that it is a too-common story exacerbated and perpetuated by silence.

It has been an ugly cause. Made the more ugly for me personally because I realize how many “good” people do nothing.

I won’t ever be good at talking about golf while the world is burning.

Someone I cared about and once trusted as an elephant-seer had a conversation with me that reminded me how lonely the world of the abuse survivor can be.

The person’s discomfort was palpable and they couched it in terms of my Christianity. I have a feeling a lot of people look at my story of unhappy endings and think,

she must have done something wrong.

Of course I have! I am a sinner. But mental illness and child abuse happen everywhere, not just in my life. We don’t talk because have been taught to be ashamed.

That is not freedom in Christ. Freedom in the love of God involves a central story of pain, humiliation, agony, the death of God.

I cannot see the survivors of the crucifixion singing glib songs of cheap sentiments in the days of the cross.

Beware of people who preach resurrection joy without crucifixion agony.

The story of heaven can only be told if someone is willing to reckon with hell.

Thank God He did.

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