An Intro to An Intro…

A year ago I was approached online by two storytellers. They asked me to consider writing the intro for a documentary about clergy sexual abuse #churchtoo.

I agreed.

Their request was that I write to address a hypothetical clerical offender.

I did.

When I wrote I sat very still and allowed myself to descend.
I lowered myself into the loss,
I allowed the waves of nausea to rise,
I permitted the remembrance of the real to return.
I felt the rain of ruin.
I smelled the rawness of the ravages.

I thought of him.
I thought of them.
I thought of you.

I gathered it all.
The gangrenous.
The gaping.
The gouging.
The gut-wrenching.

I gave the wounding words.
I labeled the many limbs of loss.

I penned of legions of losses.
I told of the truncation of trauma.
I softly spoke of the horror of hopelessness.
I spoke of the savagery of sexual abuse.
I whispered of the treachery of misplaced trust.

I did.

I wrote and I wrote.
I closed my eyes and I felt the fractures.
I penned of the powerlessness.
I left nothing unsaid.

I sang the slow mournful song of ruin; of reality; of resurrection.

I did.

When you see it.
I want you to know.
I thought of you.

Every word was mined from the shallows of Sheol:
Dragged from the trenches of trauma,
Fresh with the sewage of slaughter.
Every. Word.
I said what I hope you’d want to be said.
When you hear my voice,
I hope it helps you to find yours.

I do.

I flew to the filming.
We took footage for 12 hours.
We did the voice over.
One take.
It was all I could utter.
When you hear my voice crack,
I hope it breaks open the doors of brutality.
When you see my face,
I hope it humanizes the horror.

I do.

Precious and priceless people have shared their stories with these safe storytellers.
I did not.
I told all our stories.
When the time comes, listen long.
Rewind and return to their ruin.
Watch closely as they rise.

I do.

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