Two news today shook me. It's about abuse. The first one is about a business development manager with a Master's degree, Mok. He is currently out on bail pending appeal of the sentence of 22 months for five charges of commercial sex with a minor and unlawfully stalking her between 2014 and last May.
The other news is about the cry of a daughter, then only 13, whose father had been sexually abusing her. She was there for the whole 6-day trial with her mother and was relieved that her father was finally convicted.
For Mok, he did not want to let go of the girl he met when she was 15. He paid her for sex and when she told him that she is in a serious relationship and "wanted to stop the sexual activities to focus on rebuilding her life, (Mok) would not let her by threatening to expose her."
When her boyfriend found out about her past, he broke up with her and told her to report Mok to the police. Fyi, Mok is married with a two-year-old child.
Returning to the daughter in the second news, her father, a stall assistant, abused her in his master bedroom. She would use the room to do her school project as it had a computer. He would then lock the room and did as he pleases with his own daughter.
In April 2014, she had enough and sent the following text message to her mother:-
"Dad always say he loves me... but Dad does things that are not right to me. I love Dad... but I hate Dad when he does that to me. I am confused. I do not know how to handle this anymore. Most of the time when Dad did those things I want to tell you but I am scared. I am very scared that you will quarrel with Dad... I SMS because I cannot face you if I tell you this thing... I do not want to see you cry because it will make me feel guilty throughout my life...I am afraid to go home... I am very afraid. I am also afraid you will not believe me... Why would I text you about this thing if it is not true? I do not want to go home... I feel afraid... I feel that I am dirty. Very very dirty."
After that message, her mother drove her husband out of the house, reported to the police and saw to his trial and conviction.
Lesson? Just one. I wonder, what is a broken life? What redemption awaits a broken life? Is a broken life one where she cannot escape from her past no matter how she struggles to free herself from it?
It is said that our heart should be broken by the same thing that breaks the heart of God.
I wonder, what breaks the heart of God? Is it the travails of a girl who longs to be loved, but cannot free herself from the hands that had promised to protect her, but at the same time, had abused her?
Or is it the pain of a wife who is utterly betrayed by a union she thought she could trust and tormented by the tears of her daughter who had suffered in silence for years in order to protect her (mother)?
Or is God's heart broken by a man who had lived a lie for years, enslaved by an appetite he could not control, and refusing to confront it until it is too late?
Is the redemption of healing, forgiveness and reform beyond some lives because the hurt, betrayal and regrets are just too deep?
Alas, brokenness comes in many forms. But the worst one is when we allow it to become a part of us, that is, to let it become our identity where our painful past merges with our present and leaves no room for healing, growth and forgiveness in the future.
(It may be easier said than done here, but at some point, both the victim and yes, the perpetrator will have to go beyond words to take that first empowered step in the present to redeem their future, and everything potentially good about it, from their past for the sake of their own sanity, integrity and humanity).
As I close, let me say that I do not pretend to understand how a broken life truly feels - the struggles, the pain and the grief. Each heart breaks in her own way, and heals in her own time. Some wounds heal. Some will find wholeness again. Others will live with the pain, guilt and shame, struggling to put it all together, one piece at a time, for possibly a lifetime.
Nevertheless, I earnestly wish them the best in their road to full, if not, some recovery. For a wound no doubt exposes you. It reminds you of the past and the pain. But as time goes by, a wound covers you too. It will no doubt leave a scar. But it becomes by then a reminder of a different sort. It is a reminder of how you have grown, overcome and become stronger. So what is painful about a wound at first also becomes your silent healer over time. Cheerz.