As someone unfamiliar with abuse, it is hard to fathom one would harm a precious child. As a person of faith it is crushing to find that child’s innocence, love and trust being violated. We are taught our bodies are temples of God, and these impure acts upon those abused are a desecration of God’s temple.One portion of Colleen’s book is the crux of my beginning to understand. On page 72 she wondered where God was during her abuse. She sees Jesus in the corner of her bedroom, and He is crying. She saw pain and sadness on His face. It was then she knew Jesus was with her, and He knew her pain and suffering. She goes on to write it is important to her for others to understand what she’s been through. She doesn’t want to be minimized, to be alone.
And the shared suffering with Jesus, helps me see where we minimize others and desert them. When we do these things, we are doing it to Jesus too.
It’s true, only those who have similar experiences in life can relate to each other. I believe this book is significant because Colleen wants people to know the abuse still happens, and no matter how much time passes it is not something to be packed away and forgotten. It is a lifelong commitment for survivors to move forward in hope and healing.
The message I sent her after the first reading included this phrase, “…now I understand why some people don’t make it.” She responded that is what she wants her book to be about. It is not only for other victims, it is definitely for the rest of us. It is for us to see why some people deal with lack of trust, fear of rejection and questioning of friendship and love. It’s a lesson we need to remember and write on our hearts.
Finally, I still wondered why God didn’t intervene. I know there are many things that are a mystery, but I fear Our Lord will give me the following answer. “You Margaret, have not prayed enough, sacrificed enough and loved enough.” It is true; evil gets a foothold when we allow it. Why do I say this? Because we are the Body of Christ, we are His hands on earth. We are family, and we are responsible for each other. So for those reading this, please add these children and adult children to your daily prayers. Offer acts of kindness and sacrifice for them. And though it is difficult, pray for their abusers too.
Thank you Colleen for writing this book, I needed to read it and so do many others.
Colleen Spiro is a certified spiritual director, a Benedictine Oblate and is employed as a parish secretary. She leads retreats and has written several articles that have been published in Christian magazines. Colleen lives with her husband in
Visit Surviving by Grace to learn more about Colleen and how to order The Third Floor Window.