i guess seeing as how i'm a sports fan, and a crazy college sports fan at that, a friend asked me yesterday what my thoughts were on the penn state scandal. i had to be honest in saying that i didn't know much about it... he ended up sending me an article on the timeline of events that took place.
yes. it's easy to judge. it's easy to be angry. it's easy to blame. it's easy to call someone sick and perverted.
but, no matter how awful and vial this whole situation is, my reaction is that of a broken heart. like seriously, i cried this morning.
it breaks my heart that children were taken advantage of. that these boys, no matter what age, had their childhood robbed from them. that they trusted, maybe even their parents or guardians trusted, an organization who's main purpose was to give them positive interactions. that the emotional toll is probably far more damaging than we could ever imagine. it breaks my heart that some of the parents knew what happened, and despite approaching individuals, nothing was done about it. that things probably could've stopped dead-in-their-tracks if just one person would've stepped up. it breaks my heart that there is way more to this story than you or i know... and that it's probably a whole lot worse.
it breaks my heart that people knew that this was possibly going on, and didn't blow a whistle. that the people that did witness it and reported it stopped there. that harming children wasn't the first thing that broke their hearts. it breaks my heart that the people that did know about it valued the image of a university, or a football program, or a sports legend or whatever it was over the exploitation of children.
it breaks my heart that there are men and women that don't have courage to step up, to do what is right. that the saying "out of sight, out of mind" trumped doing what is right.
i'm not judging. i'm really not. my heart is broken. i've never witnessed anything like this. i've never known anyone to be sexually abused. i've never known a man or woman to take advantage of a child. i pray i never do. however, i'm not judging because i know that i'm just as broken as these men are. i'm not perfect. there are so many situations that have occurred in my 30 years that i have chosen to ignore, because it was the easy way out. none as big as this... but i'm just as guilty. so i can't judge.
but, what i can do is pray. and that is what i'm doing. i pray for men and women all over this world to stop taking advantage of and robbing the innocence from children. i pray that this situation only encourages more men and women to step up and do what is right. i pray for more whistle-blowers to have the courage to sound the alarm in their communities. i pray for absolutely no one: no organization, no city, no community, no church, no school, no anything to think they are more important than or above the law. laws that have been put in place to protect. i pray for the families of these boys, and for the countless other families of children that have gone through this awful situation. i pray that they overcome the, seemingly, impossible mountain of anger, hurt and brokeness. i pray that these boys and girls that have had to deal with such horrible circumstances will grow into men and women that advocate for other victims and make a positive impact on our society. i pray that there is a stop to victimizing children all together. i pray that people feel the Holy Spirit convicting them to do what is right and either walk away from doing harm, or sound an alarm when harm has been done.
and, i've been praying for a lot of kids. i'm pretty sure i've prayed for every kid i know, by name. and every child i have yet to meet... like my own. i pray for the protecting hand of God to keep them safe from all harm. that they may never know what it's like to be exploited. to be robbed of their childhoods. i pray for the children i hope to adopt one day. i pray that they come to me with their innocence in tact. i pray that every child i will ever know feels secure with the adults that their parents let them be around. i pray for every organization, school, church, volunteer program that these children will participate in... that upstanding adults, ones that want to protect these kids, will be leaders and above reproach. i pray that we teach our kids to stand up to do what is right, even if it means ridicule or adversity. i pray that Jesus takes a hold of our children's hearts and leads them to grow to be men and women that approach this world the way He did.
oh, i pray for change. huge, huge change in this world. i pray that despite these awful, horrible, disgusting circumstances that Good will come out of it. i pray that people's lives are changed for the better. i refuse to think that God isn't moving. i know He is. i trust that He is.