A 12-year-old girl I know has been sad lately because she’ll be turning 13 soon. She says she’s “grieving the loss of her childhood”. But really, what she doesn’t understand yet is that we take our childhoods with us, for better or for worse. And for all I know of hers from knowing not only her but also her parents and extended family, I expect that hers is primarily for the better. How I wish that it could be that way for every child!
But it’s not. Later this week I’ll be traveling to London for a meeting of the Judges Panel of the United Kingdom Child Sexual Abuse Peoples Tribunal. It’s a big deal for many, many adults who were sexually abused as children in the UK, and it’s a big deal for me. Five years ago, when my memoir NEVER TELL made it to the bestseller list of the London Sunday Times I was thrilled, and later, when I realized that over 30,000 people in the UK bought it I was amazed. But little did I know that I would one day be asked to serve in this way, and that I would be able to say yes.
At Mass this morning the priest’s homily was about children. I don’t even know what exactly he was saying about children because I was daydreaming about some of the witnesses’ submissions for the Tribunal; imagining them as children and then as adults who are still suffering the effects of having been abused as children. I was thinking about the courage it must have taken for them to come forward, and I was hoping they hadn’t paid too high a price.
So this Sunday evening of Green Bay vs, Seattle and the Emmy’s I have a special request. Please pray for us; for everyone involved with the Tribunal, that we may be guided in truth, in courage, and in wisdom. Thank you.