In the distance, the mountains rise, tall and majestic, stretching into the skies and gracing the heavens--that
place where God dwells. I pause from my play, a young preschooler, to take in the breathtaking view, and won-
der... would I be closer to God, if I were at the top of that mountain? I feel Him in the breezes, see His angels in
the raindrops as they dance in the puddles. At least that is how I imagine it. My heart is captivated and I want to
know Him, this God who paints the beautiful sunrise and draws the curtains of sunset...
My father storms into the house and I dart behind the wood stove, hiding while he rages, waiting to emerge until
the door slams and the heavy thud of his boots fades in the distance. I listen to him, on other days, as he admon-
ishes about obeying the Bible--parents are to be honoured and respected... it is sin for women to cut their hair...
fathers are the head of the home... I hear murmurings that he has threatened to kills us--his family. He flies into
a rage, cursing disobedience, declaring damnation on the offender... He offers religion without relationship, and
the church, it seems, affirms this teaching....
These two Gods--the one revealed in nature, who makes beautiful things and whispers in the breeze, and the ang-
ry god who threatens, yells and abuses--collide, head on, in my mind, soul and spirit. I am confused and troubled.
I pray to God. I ignore Him. I reach for Him. I shut Him out. I cry in desperation. I scream against him, inwardly.
I long to be held and loved by Him. I cringe. I fear. I flee.
And always my heart wonders... Which God is real? Which one is safe? Which one will ultimately save me? Which
My soul is tormented in the night, as the shadows dance on the walls of my room. I am seven. I am lost. I lie
awake, afraid, wondering.... I am thirteen... the shadows still strike fear... the creaking stairs terrorize my mind...
nightmares torment my sleep... I have tried the God of wrath, and He has left me condemned and lonely. I am
abused, neglected and alone. I shut down... become numb and feel nothing. I am determined that I will not suffer
The God of my childhood is lost in the pain and trauma of abuse and I am left to struggle.... caught in a tug of war
Between 2 Gods...
As far back as I can recall, my heart wanted to know God, and please Him; the artist of the mountains and sky. I felt His kindness and goodness, in nature. But the terror I felt, almost daily if, not daily, in our religious home, stirred fear, anger and distrust for Him. Maybe even a bit of hatred, at times, though I would have been to frightened of what He might do to me, if I admitted it. To add to my confusion, my childhood--like many in my Mennonite community--was laced with sexual molestation. I witnessed things no child should know or experience, and experienced some personally.
In the pages of this book, I tell that story, While never explicit, I hold nothing back when it comes to the truth of what happened in my life, and around me. My prayer and hope is that many victims will find permission to speak up and get help and support. The power of the secret is a strangle-hold of death, and victims need to be released from that grip. Silence and overlooking the consequences have long been equated with forgiveness, and this is constantly thrown and victims who speak out. I propose that these things have nothing to do with forgiveness, otherwise the Bible is a contradiction. What book has more sin exposed in its pages and stories, than the Bible? Was it then sin for the Bible to be written, and make those things public? Remember Dinah? She was raped. And remember her abuser? He and his men were circumcised, having been led to believe they would be 'accepted' and he would be allowed to take his victim to be his wife. They were deceived, by God's people. And then they were slaughtered, in that state of helpless recovery. Think that through for a moment.... Scandalous, at best.
I propose that forgiveness and silence have no relationship with each other. Rather, I would propose that we cannot show, fully, the love and grace of God until we are willing to to tell the hard and painful stories. Could it be that we hide these because we don't trust He really is enough? Or because we want the world to see us as better than we are? (Idolatry!)
These stories of sex, scandal, violence and manipulation have the power to introduce a God to the world who loves us in our brokenness. A God who reaches down, even daring to become one of us, because He loves so deeply. And, when we fall, when we struggle, and even when we sin, He loves us and calls us His own, and pursues us with compassion. That is the deeper story I've shared in Between 2 Gods.
As you read my story, I pray you will find hope and courage to embrace yours, without shame, knowing you are loved...
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~ T ~
BETWEEN 2 GODS
© Trudy Metzger 2015