“Bless them that curse you”. That is a hard saying of Jesus. I learned what it meant the hard way. Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
I had this smug idea that murderers, rapists, and child molesters deserved any punishment they got. God let me look at it differently. If I got what I deserved, it would be without mercy. I was getting pretty hard hearted and judgmental. Who was I to judge another by outward appearances.
None of us really get what we deserve. We never murdered, raped or molested a child. There are other ways we can do all those things---by the words coming out of our mouths. We can kill another by spreading lies about him. It may keep him from getting a job or having others hate him for no just cause.
In short we can kill him by gossip. Rape is not just a sexual attack. It also means “a violent attack, either physical or verbal”. I’m sure most of us have been verbally attacked and we had no idea why. Could be jealousy or a misunderstanding.
We can molest a child by verbal abuse. We can say words to the child that may keep him from living up to his full potential. It can be a hurt so deep, he may never get over it. Think about these things.
Matthew 12:36 & 37 “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment, For by the words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.”
James 3:8-10 “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless you God; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be.”
People who commit these awful crimes are often victims of the same crime. That is all they have ever known. They become so warped inside that they retaliate by doing the same to others. I am not saying they shouldn’t be punished. In fact, too many times they get away with it and are let loose to do the same thing again. It’s a vicious cycle but only God can avenge.
You ask why God doesn’t do something about it. He gave man a free will to do good or evil. Too many men choose evil. God won’t let it go unpunished. It may seem so but God’s timing and ways is not the same as ours. Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved avenge not yourself, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.”
If we take things in our own hands, all we are doing is keeping the cycle going. We suffer more than the one we “get even” with. We can never get even. We may end up in jail and our family’s life is ruined forever by one violent act on our part. I don’t pretend to understand it all but I am going to tell you my story of rape and how God turned it all around. Even a bad experience God can use for His glory.
When I was fifty-seven years old, I was raped in my own apartment. It was my landlord’s twenty-five year old son. That morning, he came to fix the front door that I waited five years for someone to do it. I lived on the second floor. That door had a lock on it. I looked out my side window. There was a young man on a ladder looking in my window! He let me know he was fixing the door but why the ladder bit. I was uncomfortable all day. If I had followed my instincts I would have gone to one of my daughter’s and stayed all night. But I didn’t.
When he was done with the door, he came up and gave me the new key and left. About one in the morning, I was awakened by someone pounding on my door. I asked who it was and what did he want. He asked if I had any gas and told me his name; same name as his Father. I left him in but was surprised when I saw it was the son.
His sister lived on the first floor. In my groggy state, I thought maybe there was a serious gas problem that had to be fixed. I was devastated when I learned what he really wanted. This can’t be true. This can’t be happening to me. There is some mistake.
I prayed but seems like my prayer was not going to be answered. Now this guy was young and strong. He had on a muscle shirt with his bulging muscles showing and held a long pointed screwdriver in his hand. If I hadn’t let him in, he would have gotten in anyway. And only God knows what he could have done with me with that dangerous tool.
Contrary to what you may think, I know that my angel was with me. I had no fear or any emotions at all. I felt like my spirit had left my body and my angel and I were standing off from the bed watching the whole procedure. My body was abused but my spirit stayed intact.
Later I was told that rape is not a sex issue but a matter of control. I took that control away from him when I didn’t show any fear. An old lady without fear was not what he expected. He even told me to scream. I made just a little bit of a bored scream. All the time I was just praying it would all be over and he would leave.
To my surprise, when he was finished, he asked if he could talk to me. What? Of all the nerve! But Jesus stepped in. I listened to what he had to say. When he told his story of how his Dad broke up his marriage and he lost his two year old son, all of a sudden my compassion moved in.
It was nothing but Jesus showing me a different way to go. On my own, I would have been mad. I could relate to him because my Dad was a perfectionist and treated me in a similar way his Dad treated him. No excuse for what he did but I got a new understanding of why he did it.
He began to sob and tell me how sorry he was. That he never did this before. To my amazement, I asked if I could pray for him. We got down on our knees and I was able to put my arm around him. I had nothing but love (yes God’s kind of love) and compassion for him! He asked me and God to forgive him. He asked Jesus to come into his heart.
He wanted to know if I would have Bible studies with him and maybe persuade his wife to come with him. She was a good Christian. I told him to call me and I’d let him know. I certainly didn’t trust him to come alone. I was going to see if a couple neighbors would be there, too.
I took a good hot bath because I felt so dirty. I had no intentions of calling the police. I know how they drag the woman through the dirt, especially an older woman. Knowing what his Dad was like, I knew he would turn it around and make it my fault. A nosy neighbor saw the young man’s truck along the sidewalk and called the police. The police questioned him and he told them he left some tools at his sister’s and had to get them before he went to work. His family was well known so they believed him and let him go. I didn’t bother screaming out.
I called my preacher in the morning. He told me I better report it. Then I called my daughter. She told me the samebut I didn’t. I went to work like nothing unusual happened. I was good at hiding my emotions. My daughter-in-law called me at work and told me I better report it. My daughters all agreed that although it was bad for me, reporting it might keep it from happening to a young girl with her whole life ahead of her. I told my boss what happened and I went home.
A policeman and a detective came to the house to talk with me. I made sure my daughters were there. I wasn’t even going to trust the police. They were very nice and sympathetic with me. They had barely got there when the man called to see if I told anyone. He was getting scared. I let the police know it was he. I told him I was praying about it. I didn’t have a second phone for the police to listen in. They wanted me to get him to talk about it so they would have evidence against him.
I told him to call me back in about 15 minutes; my daughter was there to get my clothes to wash for me. I would talk to him then. We all waited until about 8 in the evening and no call. It almost seemed like a stake out you see in the movies. It just wasn’t real. The police left and I went to stay at my sons for about a week.
The next day, the police called at my sons to tell me that he shot himself but lived about 12 hours before he died. That protected me from having to go to court. God was still in it all. There is a lot more of amazing happenings yet to come. This may take awhile but I can’t let anything out. Hopefully it will help someone who has been raped.
After I heard about the suicide, my daughter called. She had a strange call from her aerobics teacher. She never got a personal call from her before. God wanted me to know exactly what happened after he left me. She asked my daughter how she was. My daughter told her what happened to me and about him killing himself. That’s strange, my friend’s husband killed himself, the teacher told her. It turned out it was the same guy. My daughter even knew who he was and they went to the same church. Everyone thought well of him. Who knows what lurks in a person’s heart.
My daughter is one of the sweetest people I know. She loves everyone but when she heard what happened to me, she said she could kill him. Shows everyone has that instinct in him at the right provocation. I told her not to even think it. “But that’s my mother!” It’s still not a reason to kill anyone.
The wife told the aerobics instructor that her father-in-law told her that he came home and was talking on the phone (to me) when his Dad came into the room. He said to his Dad: “I just hurt somebody bad and I’ll never do it again.” His dad said: “What did you do?” “I just hurt someone.”
He went upstairs and they heard a gun go off. He was rushed to the hospital. He shot himself in the head. Usually a person dies immediately but he lived twelve hours. I hope he had time to make it right with God. Stranger things have happened. I know deep in my heart he was really repentant.
The police told me not to tell his parents. Why, I don’t know but I never did. Seven years later I went to a Woman in the Word meeting with a daughter. The leader was talking about forgiveness. The Holy Spirit led me to tell this story. I didn’t want to but I obeyed. I barely got started when the woman beside me began sobbing as if her heart was broken. When I was done she said: “That was my husband!” You could have heard a pin drop, it got so quiet. The presence of God was everywhere. It was so awesome.
She went on to say that she knew what he did (after she begged the police to tell her) but didn’t tell her my name. She had been praying for me all those seven years. Her son, now nine years old, kept asking her if his Daddy was in heaven. She didn’t know what to answer him. I told her I believe he was. We hugged and cried. We really got bonded even though I only saw her once after that.
Our meeting was meant to happen. Put our minds and hearts both at rest. Suicide is wrong but usually you die right away. He was given 12 extra hours. The thief on the cross didn’t have much time yet he was forgiven. Nothing is impossible with God. I have to believe that.
I did move out of the apartment. I had to call his mother to tell her I was moving. That was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I had to listen to her heart break while she told me about his suicide. She had no reason why he did it. Then she told me about an accident he was in 5 years before. His head went through the windshield and he hadn’t been quite right since. My heart bled for the mother. His father died a few years later. I was almost tempted to tell the mother what he did but I think it is more merciful that she doesn’t know. I don’t even know if she is still living.
The whole incident took away a good bit of my hard heart. “Love your enemies” I learned how. I did. “Do good to them that hate you.” I listened to him. “Pray for them who despitefully use you.” I prayed for him. My body was despitefully used but my spirit was unharmed. Matthew 5:7
“Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” As God said if we don’t forgive, we won’t receive forgiveness. Same goes for mercy. I had mercy on a poor lost soul. God had mercy on me.
If this has happened to you, please tell someone about it. Go to a rape center. Don’t keep it bottled up inside. It will destroy you. Many times the Holy Spirit has led me to tell someone my story. The ones I told were always ones who had been raped and never told anyone or had watched their children being raped and afraid to report it.
No one liked one woman who was a cook where I worked. One day we were in the dressing room and I felt the urge to tell her about the rape. She was shocked then she told me her story about her husband raping her daughters. She was afraid of him so she never reported it. After I quit working, someone told me she tried to kill herself. I assumed it was from guilt for not putting a stop to the abuse.
She jumped off a bridge and changed her mind. She was able to grab hold of something and hang on until she was rescued. I haven’t heard more but I hope she got help. Other women have told me their stories after I told mine. If you feel you have no one to talk to about it, I am always available. Don’t suffer it alone.
I Corinthians 1:3 & 4 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in ALL our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” God bless you. He loves you and so do I.
I first read your testimony on the boards and clickd over here after reading your post.
You truly received a miracle from God in the midst of your battle. I pray God will use your story many times to touch the hearts of others. Maybe you shoul submitt this testimony to God Size Stories.
God Bless from Kathy
Joan, what a wonderful testimony of God's forgiveness working in your life...You was abused, yet still prayed for the one who hurt you..God hears and answers prayers. you have much experience in the Lord. Thanks for sharing.