The Fire

Outside.  Running down the hill in my bare feet.  Cool grass between my chubby toes.  Warm sun on my round face.  I was a good girl.  I was a smart girl.  I was a pretty girl.  They all said so. 

Inside.  The special room.  Straight even lines on the carpet.  Clear plastic on the couch.  Glass shelf.  Shiny things.  They were for looking not for touching.  One was round and clear and sparkly.  I wanted to hold it.  I imagined picking it up and feeling its weight in my hands. Oops.  Warm heavy feeling in the back of my pants.  Accident.  Other things on the shelves.  One looked like a deer.  It looked very pointy but I wouldn’t touch.  I would just pretend.  Grown ups talking.  They liked to do that.  That child is old enough to sit on the toilet like everyone else.  If that were my kid I’d rub her nose in it.

My arm pulled HARD.  We walked FAST to the bathroom.  The door slammed SHUT.  Her face was RED.  Her voice was LOUD.  Her hands were SHAKY.  Her words came FAST.  My pants came off rough.  Her hands held me down.  Bad smell.  Warm smelly poop on my nose, my cheeks, my forehead.  Final raging words:  “IF YOU ACT LIKE A DOG I’M GONNA TREAT YOU LIKE A DOG!”

At that moment a new sensation burned in my heart that I had never felt before.  It started as a spark, then grew to a small flame, and finally became a raging wildfire.  Before I knew it the forest of joy, love, and optimism that grew there became an empty, smoking landscape.  The hungry fire consumed every inch.  Although good feelings would take root and sprout again, they were mere shoots, not the tall glorious trees that once grew.  And the fire’s name was Shame.

5 thoughts on “The Fire

  1. My heart weeps for this little girl… awful….how humiliating, how degrading….shame, yes I know it all to well too….
    I feel anger when I think of the joy that was robbed, taken in an instant from the carefree, innocent soul of a little girl…come Lord Jesus to the heart of this little girl…..I imagine,and in my minds eye, I see Jesus, weeping, using His own tears and cleaning off her face….and then enveloping her in His arms, soothing her soul….and I see the scars on His hands as He gently takes her face in his hands….gazing into her eyes, longing to take the shame that now binds her…..asking her to give it to Him so that her heart would be once again be that of the carefree little girl, innocent and full of life….come Lord Jesus, come.


  2. i wince, i cry and i feel nauseous – and i am glad.
    to never talk about these things is to not hate evil enough. if we do not bring the light of Christ into the darkest places of shame in our hearts and the hearts of others, then evil wins against love. the enemy wants to ruin the giving and receiving of pleasure – to taint it so that our souls are deadened. i pray that i will never stop wincing, crying and feeling nauseous when i hear about the attempts of evil to destroy beauty.


  3. As I have read this story and have contamplated it for days. I could not help feel like a child. Never Good enough?
    Never clean enough? Never loved enough? Now as an adult Never a good enough mother? House never clean enough? Kids never clean enough? Isn’t strange how we allow our feelings to run cycles in our life. What are our triggers? Mother? Father? Brothers? sisters? uncles? grandparents? or Who? Smells? Places? or just a situation?

    Is it not wonderful that no matter how you feel God will comfort you in his Great Hands and make you feel Loved and comforted all you have to do is ask.


  4. Yes JM!

    God made children to be excellent learners — an absolutely crucial aspect to our survival. However, in a world plagued by sin that blessing is also a curse. The lies we learn about ourselves as children are almost impossible to replace with truth unless we learn to see ourselves through the eyes of our true Father.

    Thank you for your comment!


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