Standing on the Bridge, Waving the White Flag.
Sometimes I stop and tilt my head curiously at this odd spot I'm in as an advocate. You see, I have one foot in the church and one foot in the rest of the world, and sometimes it feels like I'm floating in no man's land.
I've been asked why I care so much about the church, since I don't belong to a church community myself and I don't call myself a Christian. Others have answered this question for me, saying I'm two-faced, posing as something I'm not in order to gain attention and capitalize on my "victimhood."
But my answer is simple:
I love the church because there are victims and survivors of abuse within the church. Many of them, and they don't deserve to feel isolated or without resources as I once did. And I love the rest of the world because there are victims and survivors of abuse in it. Many of them, and they don't deserve to feel isolated or without resources as I once did.
I was discussing this with my dear friend and fellow advocate, Claire, and she said something that really struck a chord with me and helped me make a little more sense of this place I'm in. She said, "You are standing on the bridge and waving the white flag."
The church and the secular world tend to be very polarized, and to be in one camp often means rejecting everything from the other. But I don't see it that way. I used to bristle every time I'd hear someone talk about Christianity or their faith, but not anymore. I have learned there are wonderful ideas and values that come from both sides, and when we create a giant divide between the two worlds we destroy the opportunity for so much connection and healing to take place. While we bicker and quarrel about whose worldview is superior, suffering people in great need of help are being ignored and marginalized. What a shame.
So in case you're tilting your head, too, and trying to make sense of the abuse survivor turned advocate who left the church but still passionately advocates for victims of abuse within the church, think of it this way - everyone has their own role and right now mine is here, standing on the bridge and waving the white flag.
And I love it here.