The Harm of Holy of Saturday: An Abuse Survivor’s Perspective

Today is Holy Saturday. 

I have risen in the darkness as one who was woke from within. Compelled, but not coerced, to the keyboard to communicate the incommunicable, to define the undefinable, to speak, the unspeakable. This is how we overcome — the blood of the lamb of the word of our testimony. The blood is all over the floor. Whose blood? Mine? His? Ours? I can’t tell anymore. My words, His, or ours? I know not for sure. The hemorrhage of harm has me here hanging head; drenched in red. It gurgles in the veins of victimization. 

Friday passed without the historical heaviness. The weight of it no longer crushed me; the stagger had steadied; the crowd had long since left the hell of my hill; the stripes, they have mostly healed. There is no need, however, to run my fingers far to feel the scars. 

I remember the stench of the sneers. I hear the accusation and I taste the humiliation. Recall of these comes easy to me: to suffer in the garden of your private Gethsemane; to be kissed unto death; to be lied about by lips that spoke of love; to stand defenseless in judgement; to watch cruelty be set free; to pay the price silently; to be mocked in your helpless estate; to be scorned by those who know you not; to be lead in silence to the site of your own suffering; to carry a cross meant to not only to crush, but to crucify; to stagger under the weight of it all and to succumb to the slaughter.

To write to you on Holy Saturday is to descend into despair, to return to the scene of my own crime, to name hell and to hear its names for me. None of it is pretty, none of it is pious, all of it is not only crushing – it is crucifying. Such is the truth of Saturday. 

My brothers, I have much against you. 

You have left your sisters in harm of but not the holiness of Saturday. 
Many of you have stoned us. 
Some of you stone us still. 
Most of you have denied you knew us.
Some of you deny us still.
Others have torn our garments and told us to go home.
You have covered yourselves in cloaks and left our bodies bare. 
You have contributed to the seductive system that has become Christendom.

I came to you hungry — you consumed me. 
I came to you naked — you took photos of me. 
I came to you captive — you reinforced my restraints. 
I hungered and thirsted for righteousness — I hunger still. 
You sought the ninety-nine and you left me for dead. 
You took what little I had left.
You cast me out to wander bewildered in the wilderness. 
You lowered me under your feet while you raised your hands in worship.
You denigrated me with your lips fervent in prayer. 
You did all in His name.

Because of you, I cannot speak or hear the name of the Christ without cringing. 
I who sought Him will all my heart, I who love Him still. 
The name above all names was used to brutalize me and many.

I urge you, my brothers, speak not of Him until you to love like Him.
Seek not others only to crush them —
Under the yoke of your own obfuscated understanding.
Speak not of righteousness until mine shines like the dawn —
And my justice like the noonday sun.

7 thoughts on “The Harm of Holy of Saturday: An Abuse Survivor’s Perspective

  1. I am so pleased to read this as I just posted about it on my RedemptionBB FB. Just realizing why trauma effects disallow tolerating crucifixion, cross etc tolerance. I don’t want anyone hurt that way.

  2. Thank you, Shirley. I appreciate you.

  3. Lori Anne- your voice emerges again to bring an agonizing truth to what this day represents to those who bear the bruises of the stones. I am sorry all over again that these words are reality. I see you.

  4. So powerful, all of it. I pray to find a way to walk in this faith worthy of your company. “You sought the 99 and left me for dead…” This captures what I told my pastor when I left that church over a year ago. There is one less family in the seats giving complicit attendance to that charade. I seek now to walk with the remnant of the wanderers and the outcasts. But you, dear woman, endured a sharp and heavy blade that many hands held against you. (No weapon formed against you shall prosper…) I see you, standing, when they wanted you to fall. I’m so sorry – for all of it. Keep standing firm. We stand with you.

  5. Meredith,
    your kindness as well as courage is beautiful. Thank you for sharing some of it with me in solidarity.
    Much peace as you live in the margins. They are wider than the page thinks.

  6. Megan,

    Thank you for your kindness. It helps us all. We like to skip over Sat but too many live there.


  7. Wim Verpoorten July 8, 2023 — 2:42 am

    Hi Lori Anne.

    Your ability to put grief into prose is amazing.
    Thank you.

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