The Silence and the Ache
I broke my foot twenty-nine years ago.
Tonight, on my way to Adoration, I felt the wounded foot, exactly in the spot where I had broken it so many years ago.
It’s crazy how much it throbs tonight. Right where it was broken.
I had a cast. The bone mended. Years passed.
Tonight, before the Blessed Sacrament, I asked Our Lord again why I have struggled so this last year with the memories of child sexual molestation and rape as an adult.
Why do I feel anything at all? Shouldn’t it all just be a memory in a pile of memories?
Couldn’t I just leave it in the pile of memories and pick out a few that are better for my spirit? Happier. Far more normal? Less traumatic?
The Lord reminded me tonight that wounds ache when they want to ache. Even a foot with a bone broken long ago.
Whose fault is it that the bone hurts tonight?
It just does. And I regret wearing my Toms shoes, without the arch support.
Sometimes, you need a little help. Life is long, and nobody makes it through without a few old wounds and painful memories.
I don’t think I have ever told anyone that this old Adoration Chapel has the same architectural floorplan as the little Protestant country church where a young man once abused me. The second time he did it.
There was a stairwell in about the same room where we keep the candles and other supplies for Mass. It was the back entrance for the church of my childhood. I wouldn’t remember it at all, except for what happened that day.
He sat on the stairs and tried to convince me to go with him into the classroom. This time, he didn’t pull out a pocket knife and threaten me. He was nicer. Maybe it was because we were inside the church.
Nobody came. Everyone was at our house having fellowship and food. The parsonage where the preacher and his family lived–that was where the small congregation met for meals and celebrations.
Nobody knew I was missing, even when he pulled me into the classroom–the one that is in the same spot in this Adoration Chapel where Father dresses for Mass.
Oh, My Jesus, present in the Monstrance, why has all this come back and demanded my attention? Why does it ache?
Wounds are like that, He reminds me.
They help us turn to those who have fresh wounds and ache to help them through the night that unfolds this night.
No need for more understanding beyond that.