Break the Silence
Pastoral Epistle for October 2017
Pastor Tom Junkert
This is painful and embarrassing, but hopefully it will help.
I had decided that I would tell my pastor, but just as soon as I walked into his study at the church, my fears took over and I couldn’t say a word. I couldn’t say what was going on in our home. I couldn’t tell him that my mother was being abused by her husband. I couldn’t. Or should I say, I didn’t. There was too much shame, too much fear that we all lived with for nearly 5 years during my high school days.
My mother had remarried a man who was an insurance man, who promised her and her children a new life and a new home. But then there was the drinking, the arguing and the fighting. We closed our windows in the summer time for fear that people would hear. And we lived in fear, not knowing what the evening would bring, or the long weekend. Often times the day started with promise and ended up shattered by violence. Finally, after nearly 5 years, my mother had the courage to seek a divorce.
I share this with you as October is, in some circles, Domestic Violence Awareness month. One in three women experience intimate partner violence, yet 95% of church-going women report they have never heard a sermon on abuse preached. We naturally assume that our homes are safe places, but tragically, that is not the case for all. We all can do something about this and it begins with breaking the silence, telling our stories, and advocating for those who are victims of violence.
Sunday, October 22, I invite you to wear purple as a way to ‘break the silence’ and support all efforts to end the violence, as people of faith.
Silent, no more!