Johnny Cash used to sing a song about a Boy Named Sue. The rough idea of the song was the country and western stereotype daddy who wanted his boy to grow up being tough so he named him “Sue.”He hoped that everyone his boy met through his life would add their part to making him a tough guy who needed to prove it. Read the rest of this entry
They were molested by Sandusky at various ages and for a variety of times. We don’t have and don’t need a lot of details to understand that the experience was life-changing for these boys.
We don’t know that much about their families and other experiences in life but the impression is that mostly their families were less than ideal. They have baggage from that too.
Add the passing of time and the years of covering up and denying what they had experienced at the hands of Sandusky; add the usual cocktail of self-blame, uncertainty in relationships, secrecy, experimentation, having other vulnerable kids around them . . . and it’s not hard to see that what Sandusky started took on a life of its own. The effects continued and grew. Read the rest of this entry
It starts early in life and it often finishes late. In fact, it begins pretty much from the day we are born and maybe when they read our will it passes to the following generations. It’s a very simple Read the rest of this entry
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him,”See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” John 5, NIV
This sounds so neat and so familiar that we seldom stop to think what’s going on here. We figure: guy did bad stuff and ticked God off, God punished him with crippling sickness, guy suffered for thirty-eight years, Jesus healed him and now he threatens him with a relapse if he doesn’t keep his act together perfectly from now on. Really?
He was four, his older brother was twelve and old enough to know the danger of that river. But the older brother was struggling with his mixed emotions. At some level he knew it would not go well with him if he did what he planned, but it would free him from competition for his parent’s attention and love. That kid had changed the family and he resented it deeply.
The answer was easy enough. He built a raft and then launched it in the river. It sat low in the water, not a great raft, more of a submerged old door, but it sort of floated. It would serve his purpose. His next step was to glorify the role of the barge’s very first captain and the glory of being the first sailor to brave those waters. It had to be someone small and not too heavy. Someone just like his brother! Read the rest of this entry
Like Brian in our last post we have formed our self-image on our own. People tell us things and we immediately filter them through our perceptions, rejecting what doesn’t fit. They say we are so good at doing something but we know better and continue to flog ourselves because it isn’t perfect (on our standards.) They say we are gifted, we know we are a klutz. They say we’re beautiful, but we think they’re just trying too hard to be nice. Ever noticed that our strongest self-perceptions tend to be negative? We have this need to hear positive things yet immediately reject what we hear as being untrue or too candy-coated. Why does the beauty queen struggle with anorexia? How small must she get before she realizes that she isn’t even close to being overweight? What she hears and what she thinks are worlds apart. She doesn’t hold the monopoly on that problem of perception versus reality. Apparently asking or selectively listening to others provides little help in cross-checking our perceptions of ourselves. Read the rest of this entry
Mark and Brian had just stepped off the school bus. Brian turned to yell at his friend Tommy who was still on the bus when he heard a screech and a metallic thud. Turning, he realized he couldn’t see Mark. Eager to get home to play with his pet rabbit Mark had run across the road and into the path of an on-coming car. If he ever saw that car he didn’t see it for long. The driver should have stopped for the flashing red lights, Mark should not have run across the road. Brian should have been paying attention to his little brother. Should have, would have, didn’t. No one ever blamed Brian but Brian blamed himself. He was the responsible nine-year old who should have stopped Mark. He “knew” his parents expected him to be responsible and he “knew” he’d let them down. He watched them grieving and “knew” that it was his fault. He had caused them this pain. He didn’t tell anyone his true thoughts but his perception of the event and its cause changed him. He carried that load for twelve more years before it became completely unbearable. He ended his own life.