This is a special Valentine’s edition of Just For You, but only because I’m issuing it on Valentine’s Day. The resources I curate for you are meant to provoke thought, unlock understanding, or grow compassion. Any day is a good day for that.
Give Her Wings is a ministry helping single moms who’ve left abusive marriages. They do this in a variety of ways and one of them is educating pastors, counselors and advocates about the unique ways these moms are best supported. Give Her Wings Academy is a 12-month class taught by the most educated, abuse-informed and theologically trained instructors, wisest counselors and compassionate advocates. Church leaders and any kind of people helper who want to be part of the solution are welcome to apply. Classes begin next month.
She Fixed It
I’ve mentioned Sheila Gregoire and her work several times here. Her important work is helping the church unravel harmful teachings about masculinity, femininity, marriage, and sex. Unfortunately, a lot of the harmful teachings have come from mainstream evangelical books and publications. Gregoire’s book The Great Sex Rescue is scientific and research based and wants to help you “reclaim sex from something ugly, stress-inducing, or just plain boring, so you can experience real passion.”
In addition to The Great Sex Rescue she has just published a short book called Fixed It For You Volume I. It’s a compilation of her most popular Fixed It for Yous in which she “fixes” terrible things that popular evangelical leaders have said. The book would be a great discussion starter with friends, your spouse, or even your small group!
We Have to Know
I wanted to share this the moment I read it. I didn’t because I knew it would be hard for people to read. We don’t want to know this kind of thing – but we have to know.
It’s happening. Every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Every 68 seconds. You know someone who has been sexually assaulted – you just don’t know she was sexually assaulted.
A friend introduced me to the Word Woman earlier this year and I’m so glad she did. Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, the Word Woman, sends out a daily poem. I held my breath as I read this one.
I’ll write the same thing Rosemerry wrote when she sent out the poem. You may not want to read it. It isn’t graphic, but it is hard to read.
I won’t offer any words after the poem. I don’t have any.
What Goes Unspoken
with gratefulness for the girls who spoke out
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
On the table, the tulips are opening,
splaying in effortless pink delight,
an homage to how soft things can bring so much pleasure,
and I think of how you once scolded me for picking flowers,
saying it was better to leave them as they were.
That was years ago,
when I traveled to see you on Cape Cod.
You were a tennis pro
and I was the girl who thought I could come to love you.
I had gone for a walk in the woods
and picked you a small bouquet.
Violets, perhaps, and something small and white.
I didn’t know then that I was a tulip.
We’d flirted. You seemed kind.
I never thought you would—
never imagined I was—
never dreamt when I said no you wouldn’t—
Mostly I left my body.
I remember staring at the windowsill while you—
I’d put the flowers in a jar. They were purple and white.
How could you defend the flowers and yet—
I didn’t open for you and you cut—
I was a stem when I left.
It’s been years since I remembered you,
but there was an article in the paper this week
about a boy here who—
Eleven girls spoke out.
How many girls did you—
I never said a word.
I have a girl now, too.