With the media surrounding the Golden Globes this week and the powerful #timesup statement that Hollywood made, I’ve been reflecting deeper on the power of what is being shared through the still-trending #metoo movement. I think this movement brings a mix of unexpected and powerful emotions to us all. Maybe it’s a deep sense of compassion and empathy seeing so many share their stories or pain. Maybe it’s a sorrowful sense of shame from times we were sexually harassed or even assaulted which left wounds that haven’t fully healed. For some of us, it even brings back the trauma of those situations, and we may be sitting silently by, as others share their “me too” stories. But for most of us, I think there’s a deep sense of relief. A tender knowing that in the midst of years of pain, or humiliation, or warped identity that has come from sexual harassment, discrimination, exploitation or abuse…we are not alone.
Sadly we see how pervasive sexual harassment, discrimination, exploitation, and assault are in our society. But we also see something hopeful. We see women (and men) coming together to encourage one another. We see people bond together in unity to fight for justice in an area there has been so little. And we see a powerful movement of hope arise from two seemingly small words. Me too.
The simple power of those two words can often pierce through the debilitating numbness of isolation, the deepest sensations of shame, resentment or fear. Because underneath our hardened exteriors and coping mechanisms, sometimes we just need to know that we are not alone.
This movement got me thinking about the most powerful “me too” I have ever heard. It’s actually one of my favorite scriptures:
“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35
I’ve always loved this scripture because it shows us a picture of how deeply compassionate God is. He doesn’t just watch our suffering from afar, patting us on the head with a placating “there-there.” He is not so consumed with His grand plan for humanity that He doesn’t take the time to fully feel the grief of living in a fallen world. He walks with us, suffers with us, and weeps with us.
Our loving God so deeply wanted to be in relationship with us. He so powerfully longed for us to be free of our feelings of isolation and shame and fear that He actually came to this earth, fully man and yet fully God, so that He could know…really know…what it feels like to suffer. He longed to sit in our skin and know what it feels like to be human. All so He could better love us and walk with us. Scripture tells us that there is no temptation He did not know, no suffering He did not endure. In fact, in those last moments on the cross, He felt the weight, the curse, the torture and torment of all sin of all mankind for all time. That means not just every sin we have committed, but every sin that was done unto us as well. Every bit of the harassment, discrimination, exploitation or abuse we have endured. Every unkind word, every manipulation of power, every rape. He experienced it all.
And all so that He could look us in the eyes with all the love of a perfect Father, a perfect Savior, and a perfect friend…and say “me too.”
Holly Christine Hayes is an author, speaker, worship leader, voice for Women of Faith and world-renowned recovery ministry expert. She has traveled the globe, sharing her radical story of salvation and coming to faith in Christ. Holly spent her teen and young adult life mired in alcoholism and drug addiction, in the grips of a downward spiral that led to a life of trauma, shame, and eventual homelessness. After an encounter with God in a public bathroom in 2001, her life was forever changed. God miraculously healed her and delivered her from her addiction. Her book From Basement to Sanctuary takes readers on a journey from the recovery meetings that gather in the basements of churches to the sanctuary pews, sharing what the two can learn from each other. Holly continues to speak in churches and recovery communities all over the world. From Basement to Sanctuary can be found here: http://a.co/3bwb3Ym Find her on Facebook/Instagram at @hollychristinehayes