A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Evildoers catch/ seize/ snatch/ ravish. God is more powerful than Satan.

Evildoers lurk to snatch the poor, seizing and ravishing the people they target. Wolves hunt to catch sheep. Let me show you some words and passages from the Bible which say this.

I first published this post at The Mystery Of Iniquity (my blog which deals with extreme abuse) but the post is equally relevant to the more ‘common and garden’ types of abuse which I deal with here at a A Cry For Justice.

Psalm 10, 1662 Book of Common Prayer (minimally updated to modern English) 9 For he lies waiting secretly, as it were lion in his den; / he lurks that he may ravish the poor. 10 He ravishes the poor, / when he gets him into his net. 11 He stoops down and crouches, / that the poor may fall into the hands of his captains. 12 He has said in his heart, “Tush, God hath forgotten; / he hides away his face, and he will never see it.”

Psalm 10, Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) he lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket. He lurks in order to seize the afflicted; he seizes the afflicted and drags him in his net. 10 So he is oppressed and beaten down; the helpless fall because of his strength. 11 He says to himself, “God has forgotten; He hides His face and will never see.”

The words ravish / seize which I emphasised above are translations of the Hebrew word chataph חָטַף. That word occurs only three times in the Old Testament; twice in Psalm 10 and once in the book of Judges. To talk about its use in Judges I’ll need to explain the backstory.

Judges 21 recounts a historical event in the early history of the Israelites. The offspring of the 12 sons of Jacob became known as twelve tribes of Israel. Chapters 19 & 20 of the book of Judges recount how and why an inter-tribal war was fought between the tribes of Jacob, one tribe against the other eleven tribes, and how the eleven tribes eventually defeated the one tribe. Chapter 21 of Judges recounts what happened after that war—men prioritised the feelings of other men over the feelings of women and the choices women might wish to exercise in saying who they will marry.

The men from the eleven victorious tribes invited and allowed the surviving men from the defeated tribe to seize/ snatch/ catch their daughters and take them as wives.

In other words, these men — from all 12 tribes of Jacob – collectively deemed that the feelings, preferences, dignity, and choices of young women were less important than the need for men from the defeated tribe to get wives and thereby produce offspring to enable the defeated tribe to keep on going down the generations.

Please don’t think this story is recorded in the Bible to encourage such callous behaviour by men. Quite the opposite. This story (like all historical narratives in the Bible) has been recorded and preserved for our instruction. We need to read it with wisdom, bearing in mind that the refrain throughout the Book of Judges is “In those days, men did what was right in their own eyes.”

In my view, this account in Judges 21 shows us how easily male human beings can collectively decide to prioritise the feelings and preferences of men over the feelings and preferences of women. It illustrates how easily men can join together to entice/ persuade/ push a certain course of action on women so that men can catch and seize those women. You can watch more about it here: My video on The Levite’s Concubine — Judges 19-21.

Now we can look at where Judges 21 uses the Hebrew word chatap חָטַף.

ESV  20 And they commanded the people of Benjamin, saying, “Go and lie in ambush in the vineyards 21 and watch. If the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards and snatch each man his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.

NIV  20 So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, “Go and hide in the vineyards 21 and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife. Then return to the land of Benjamin.

KJV  20 Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; 21 And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.

New Testament

There is a word in the New Testament which is roughly equivalent to the Hebrew word chataph חָטַף. This word is harpazō ἁρπάζω. It means to seize, carry off by force / to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly / to snatch out or away. (link)

All the passages below are from the New Matthew Bible Version (NMB). Each rendering of the Greek work harpazō is emphasised in bold. First I will give the passages in the New Testament that speak about how Satan and his agents do their utmost to snatch away Truth and carry off people by force. Then I will show you the good news — that God’s power to ‘catch up’ is greater than Satan’s.

Satan and his agents snatch the Truth away and carry off people by force

John 10:11-13 [Jesus said:] 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12 But a hired servant, who is not the shepherd, neither are the sheep his own, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep, and flees; and the wolf catches them, and scatters the sheep. 13 The hired servant flees because he is a hired servant, and does not care for the sheep.

Matthew 11:12  From the time of John the Baptist to now, the kingdom of heaven is sorely pressed, and those who go to it with effort seize it for themselves.

Matthew 13:19  Whosoever hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, there comes the evil one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart; and this is he who received the seed by the wayside.

John 6:15  When Jesus perceived that they wanted to come and take him up to make him king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Acts 23:10  And when great controversy arose, the captain, fearing lest Paul should be pulled apart by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him from among them, and to bring him into the castle.

God has the power to transport his people supernaturally: from one place to another on this physical earth, or from this physical earth to heaven.

Acts 8:39  And as soon as they had come out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the chamberlain saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing.

2 Cor 12:2-4  I know a man in Christ about fourteen years ago (whether he was in the body I cannot tell, or whether he was out of the body I cannot tell, God knows) who was taken up into the third heaven. And I know the same man (whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell, God knows), how he was taken up into Paradise and heard words not to be spoken, which no man can utter.

Rev 12:5  And she brought forth a man child who was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. And her Son [Jesus Christ] was taken up to God and to his seat.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  I would not, brethren, have you be ignorant concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow like others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so then also those who sleep in Jesus, God will bring again with him. And this we say to you in the word of the Lord: we who live and are remaining at the coming of the Lord will not precede those who sleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, and the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will arise first. Then shall we who live and remain be caught up with them also in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

When a person trusts in God’s promises, nothing can snatch that person out of God’s hand.

John 10:27-28 [Jesus said:] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give to them eternal life. And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

14 Comments

  1. Finding Answers

    The picture in my mind is of a woman with long dark hair, standing in the middle of a circle of men. Her clothes are dirty, tattered, and in rags. Her face and body are covered in fingernail scratches. She is fighting and clawing at those surrounding her in her attempt to escape the circle of men as they (the circle of men) keep pushing her back into the centre of the circle.

    ^That very much resembles the game of keep-away, although I do not know if (general) you are familiar with the game.

    One can often see similar behaviour in old movies with scenes from a cruel boarding house, where bullies are tossing clothing / treasured items / etc. belonging to the victim between themselves, keeping the item(s) just out of reach of the victim.

    And I am reminded of the Biblical story usually known as The Woman at the Well.

    From the original post “……the kingdom of heaven is sorely pressed….”

    ^That.

    Man (men and women) is (are) fighting and clawing to hear the Truth, the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    Man (men and women) is (are) receiving extreme abuse from Satan (and his human and demonic minions) for being Christian, rather than “christian”.

    Man (men and women) is (are) freeing the Truth, communicating the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    For The Woman at the Well, for persecuted man (men and women), for those who are (currently) unbelievers, remember: The Battle Belongs to God (Jesus Christ).

    • Thank you for this profound comment, Finding Answers. There is much to so ponder in it; I think I will be re-reading it several times.

  2. Helovesme

    Barb I have this on my browser and I can’t wait to read it. Every time I tried to get into it, I had to put it aside. Hoping to give it the attention it deserves asap. Your’e a really great writer and it’s always great to read your work.

  3. Helovesme

    Barb I thought this post was excellent. Some of your observations were running parallel with some of my personal thoughts.

    First, I love how you compared and contrasted being “caught” by God’s goodness versus being “caught” by evil. It brought to mind how God wraps His arms around us to draw us near and keep us safe. The devil wraps his arms around us to stick a knife in our backs and do harm to us. He catches us in order to consume us.

    If you’re like me, I spent many years running away from Him. I was never “ahead” of Him so to speak (you can’t outrun the Lord!)—-but at a certain point I think I got tired of running away FROM Him. I wanted to run TO Him, and let Him “catch” me into His arms.

    And I especially loved this line: “God’s power to ‘catch up’ is greater than Satan’s.”

    I think we’ve all had the kinds of nightmares where you are running away from danger. In the dream, you can’t run fast enough, or you can’t run at all. That is what makes the terror all too real. Even though it’s a dream, the fear is very realistic. Sometimes even after I wake up, I have to remind myself that that dream was just that— a dream.

    So I tried to imagine what these women felt like—these males ambushing them to carry them off by force, against their will, to enslave them via marriage. These men likely cared nothing for them; they were simply a means to an end (to produce offspring to carry on their heritage).

    I wonder if they tried to flee for their lives, or call for help. But (from what I understand), it was the fathers of the daughters from those 11 tribes who gave them permission to take them by force. So they sacrificed their own daughters for a “greater cause?” What kind of parenting is that?

    From the original post:

    “collectively deemed that the feelings, preferences, dignity, and choices of young women were less important than the need for men”

    “how easily male human beings can collectively decide to prioritise the feelings and preferences of men over the feelings and preferences of women. It illustrates how easily men can join together to entice/ persuade/ push a certain course of action on women”

    The times in my life when I felt “caught, seized, snatched” by evil—I was always outnumbered and therefore out powered. Being abused at home, I had no allies. One person (my dad) did the abusing, but no one tried to protect or defend me. Same with school, where either people bullied me or stood around while I was being bullied.

    Their collective “conscience” worked against me. How could I escape, and even if I tried to run away, where could I go?

    As a believer, the situation was same when professing Christians behaved in similar ways. What is worse, is that I KNOW for sure that if I had been male, I would have been treated far differently—far BETTER. In one particular situation, a group of males that I dared to trust put me through trauma that resonates with this post: they collectively scapegoated me, treated me with massive disrespect, and prioritized their own selfishness at the expense of my dignity. Their agendas were all that mattered—-and their agenda was all about their own sick, sad greed for power.

    It may have LOOKED like they cared about others, but no. Their agendas reeked of self-righteousness and nothing else.

    One has to ask—did the males from that scenario in Judges really HAVE to conduct themselves that way? Did they HAVE to snatch, seize, catch these young women with such force and violence? Was there NO other way to find wives and produce offspring? Was there no calm, civilized, far less callous and cruel way to accomplish such a purpose?

    That is what I thought when it came to how these professing Christian males treated me. Every fiber in me KNOWS that they did not have to behave in the ways they chose to. There is nothing in the Word that says you HAVE to break hearts, break souls in order to accomplish a certain goal.

    In my experience, males seem to feel entitled to be in charge. Okay—well that requires a measure of maturity in every sense of the word: wisdom, emotional self-control, and if you claim to be a Christian—search the Scriptures and most of all—seek the Lord.

    When I don’t see that happening (and believe me, I didn’t see that at all), don’t talk to me about entitlement. As a female, I kept feeling (and still do) that I have to PROVE something before I am respected. No one will give me power that comes with respect unless I work my way up from the bottom. And even then, however, people can’t get over my gender, or other factors (skin color, I wasn’t raised in a Christian family, and other superficial nonsense). It keeps me at the bottom even as I struggle to prove otherwise.

    Males seem to be naturally given the benefit of the doubt and so given a sense of power right away. They’re not at the bottom, they’re a couple of levels ahead of me even before I start out the gate. And their level of accountability, however, is slim to none. I don’t know why. If they are going to be assumed to be superior, they better dang well be held responsible. But, they seemed to get away with everything—again, collectively, the combined conscience was working in a way that worked for them, and worked against me.

    In the situations I faced, right or wrong ceased to exist. For example, when I was being bullied at school—-there is nothing right about being tormented like that. However, those bullies likely didn’t care about right or wrong—for me, it’s perfectly right to get away with as much as you can without facing any backlash. And they never did. Those that did nothing were likely apathetic about right or wrong.

    The situations I faced with professing Christians, where you would think right or wrong would be the first priority—was not the case. It was all about taking sides, family or group loyalty, and again—a collective “conscience” that worked for their own interests and agendas. Strong emotional ties and an over heightened, almost maniacal sensitivity to those you are determined to stay faithful to (at any cost, right or wrong is again pushed aside) also played a major part.

    I remember feeling quite helpless. I’m sensitive to the bonds between family members or strong ties in general. I was “caught between” caring for certain persons, but then watching my compassion for them being used against me. The idea was: if you love me, you will not challenge me to do the right thing, which would mean I would pay a price that I am not willing to pay. It’s just not worth it. You need to care about my feelings over your own, even if that means you have to stand alone, unloved and unsupported. I can’t get caught up in your mess you didn’t make, but you have to clean up—-on your own.

    One of the most beautiful things about the Lord is that He absolutely says you are worth it. Worth standing up for, standing with, and standing by. His conscience isn’t seared or broken or malfunctioning in any way. Where people run away from you as if you are toxic, He runs to you as if you are a treasure—which you are.

    So I think of those young women, coming to dance but instead being preyed upon—I think of their terror. I think of them trying to run, but being outnumbered and out powered. I am on the shorter side, and not the fastest runner. And again, those who abused or bullied or traumatized me had the advantage—I had no allies. I had no advantages.

    From the original post: “Please don’t think this story is recorded in the Bible to encourage such callous behaviour by men. Quite the opposite….the refrain throughout the Book of Judges is “In those days, men did what was right in their own eyes.”

    Barb likely put that in there very much on purpose: WHY would she need to remind us that God would never sanction such cruelty? And then she cleverly reminds us—for some insane reason, during that time in history—this sort of horror was considered “right” in their own eyes. Each pair of eyes seemed to have no objection to inflicting such a horrible fate on all those young women.

    I think that doctrine is still alive and kicking in present day, and has been throughout history. What seemed right in the eyes of the persons I encountered was right to them because of one main reason: it gave them a sense of power, but more precisely, it gave them a sense of power OVER the lives of people. It took away my power of choice and ability to have a say, and they took it away from me simply because they could. Not because they HAD to, but because they could, and most of all—-they could get away with it. Which they did!

    Imagine a god-like sense of control, or being able to call the shots, of being able to decide who rises and who falls. Who is blessed, favored and who is not so blessed or favored. The ones you are loyal to have nothing to worry about. The ones on the fringe, that don’t “count” as much, are considered expendable.

    That can quench and destroy ANY attempt by the Holy Spirit to exert sound thinking, doctrine and most of all—the power that comes from self control, so that you can pray before you pounce.

    I think the power of the Holy Spirit humanizes our fellow human beings. And once you humanize them, you will look to help them, not hurt them. The power of the devil, however, dehumanizes our fellow human beings. They are either objects or obstacles. You will do anything TO them in order to help yourself, even if it means hurting them.

    (Barb and Reaching Out, I sort of pounded this out past my bedtime, but I REALLY wanted to get it out there. If it’s too jumbled, or I rambled or some of my thoughts didn’t come across right. I understand if it’s not post-worthy. You can always post it and I’ll try to amend anything I didn’t articulate just right.)

    And I see comments are flowing on the Submission post which I look toward to reading!

    • Reaching Out

      My apologies, Helovesme, for the delay in publishing your comment.

      Your comment was NOT too jumbled, rambling, unclear, or not post-worthy.

      I turned off my computer a wee bit earlier than usual last night. 🙂

      • Helovesme

        Thank you to you both. I usually try to go back and either edit and clarify things, maybe break it up for easier reading—I’m grateful it was post-worthy AND encouraged someone.

        I’m truly surprised this post didn’t get more traffic. No disrespect to anyone; sometimes I have to pass up good writings due to limited time and energy.

        For victims of abuse, we are often asked questions like: why didn’t you run away? Report the crime? Go to the police? Confide in someone you trust? Why did you cover for your abuser or simply deny being abused at all? Why did you remain silent, as if a gun was being pointed at your head?

        The reasons all vary; there is no straight up answer. Here is one of my explanations that will hopefully resonate with this post’s intent:

        There is no doubt in my mind that I was targeted by non-Christians AND professing Christians—-because I am female. We do tend to be seen as the weaker sex, inferior in every sense of the word. Every female ever born is not victimized, but our chances are higher due to that vulnerability.

        These young women were obviously targeted because of their gender. Those men felt entitled to possess wives and produce offspring. Both of those words, possess and produce, are “power” words. You have the power to take a wife as if you grab a product off the shelf in a store. You have the power to use her to produce your offspring, and she has no choice in the matter. It is dehumanization at its worst.

        Products on a shelf can’t talk, or resist being taken off that shelf. They can’t choose who they go home with, and how they will be treated in those homes. They buy you with money, and you are the one being sold. Will you be thrown into a dark closet, never used? Will you be stomped on for the sheer thrill of it? Will you be used properly, for its intended purpose—-thereby using this resource with a measure of respect?

        When we purchase items in a store, we don’t have to justify those purchases. If you have the money to buy them, you don’t have to explain your motives. Bottom line: you can do whatever you want with what you buy.

        Back to my particular abusive situations. Abuse chips away at you until you really do understand and (worse so) try to accept that you are nothing more than a product.

        Think about the aftermath for these young women. Once these men “bought” them, not with money, but with their superior strength and power, and took them home, the best they could hope for is they’ll be treated with SOME measure of respect. If I have to be his wife and bear him children, I hope he “uses” me properly—so I can maintain a measure of dignity in an undignified predicament.

        But they likely never forgot that they were “caught, seized, snatched” like a product on a shelf. Those now-husbands likely never let them forget it. Therefore, the fear would always remain: I have the ability to hurt you, as you recall from the way I “caught” you. I’ll hold off when you treat ME well, but if you don’t, I’ll resort to what you know I’m capable of. I didn’t propose on bended knee to you because I didn’t have to, nor did I want to. I didn’t care about hearing “yes” or “no” from you and I still don’t care.

        The reason why I stayed silent is because no matter WHAT, if I had days in my home or school or church that seemed peaceful, I knew things could “flip” in a split second. I’d been blindsided so often, that you learn how to “act like” a product on a shelf that doesn’t want to be noticed. Don’t stand out. Try to look inconspicuous. Withdraw to the back. Choose the lowest shelf if possible. In a nutshell, please don’t “pick” me, please don’t notice me. I don’t quite know what will happen if I AM spotted, but I can be fairly certain it will not be good.

        “Damaged” goods are either thrown out, heavily discounted or never purchased. Which is worse, I wonder? Damaged goods ARE noticed, but for all the wrong reasons. They are treated with contempt, or they are a last resort.

        Back to those young women. Did the”pretty” or younger ones get “caught” first? Were the not so desirable looking ones getting picked last?

        I was considered “ugly” for most of my life. Bad hair, skin and clothing, and lacking in talents. This is partially the reason I was targeted, even at home. Being an “ugly” offspring does not make parents proud. I didn’t excel in school, which was particularly prized, which I believe upped the abuse towards me. As a “product,” I was defective.

        I’ve heard massively ridiculous arguments that if you are considered pretty, shapely or talented, you stand out and are more likely to be targeted to be victimized. And it’s your own fault for being so noticeable at all.

        So, if victims would only “ugly up” and be more like I naturally was, they’ll be fine? You won’t be targeted and no one will “seize” upon you because no one can stand to look at you anyway?

        I’m here to refute that. And by the way, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Every single female was made in His image. To either demonize OR idolize them, by proxy you are insulting Him. I had no one to tell me otherwise—being considered ugly didn’t diminish my humanity, or the One who MADE me—-one bit.

        Being treated as I was does NOT always lead to humility. I sadly became something of a “catcher” like those men in the book of Judges: I would “seize” upon images in magazines, celebrities, even my own peers—-and want to “possess” their supposed beauty and charm and charisma for myself.

        Back to those horrible men. They likely thought that if they “caught” these women, bore children—-all of their problems would be solved. Their heritage (and their honor) would carry on after they died. Isn’t that the point of life—-leaving behind a legacy? It was the exact reason the Bible says they did what they did.

        Back to my story. I idolized those types of people, which implies I admired them. But in reality, I demonized them. I hated them for being skinny, white, popular and talented. They got so much positive attention. I wanted to be LIKE them, but I also LOATHED them because well—it was impossible to look like them. I looked in the mirror every day. I knew I would never see their reflections looking back at me.

        It was pure selfishness on my part, just as it was with those horrible men. Does anyone really think—as these men obviously did—-that if you just got married and bore children (by any means possible)—you will be completely fulfilled? Lead a peaceful, hassle free, minimally stressed life? Full of the joy of loving and being loved?

        Forcing someone to marry you and bear your children will NOT lead into a quiet, contented life. Even if these women and their subsequent children tried to make the best of things, those husbands and fathers will never experience true, freely given love. My guess is they didn’t care about being loved. They cared about being obeyed.

        What about those children? Will they find out HOW they were conceived? What their moms went through? They were only born in order to carry on a heritage? What kind of a legacy is being left behind for them to follow? It may not be one they want to continue—hence they could change their names and lead an entirely new identity.

        Did I really think that if I could just look these women, all my problems would go away? I would be loved, accepted, NOT targeted or victimized for negative attention anymore, and all the attention would be nothing but positive? I “catch” their “mojo” (aka magical power) by force, and I’ll finally be in control of how others treat me.

        Back to those young women. Perhaps the ones considered prettier were thought to produce better looking offspring. Or, if they were younger, they’d be able to produce multiple offspring. If that was the case, that dispels the lie that pretty people have less problems, or none at all.

        Back to my own life. I don’t have kids of my own. But I highly prize the Biblical mandate to set an example for others. What kind of an example with an attitude like that?

        You want to set an example that others will want to “catch, seize and snatch” for themselves. Christ’s example is the perfect one to get a hold of, and you want to set one that points people to His example.

        I do my best to NOT follow the example of these horrible men. Don’t “catch” onto them, or those that are like them. They are emulating the profile of abusers, who dare to lay claim to what they falsely believe they are entitled to, by evil and sinful means. They promote suffering, not salvation. They are best to be forgotten about (as a rightful reaction to their dire desire to be remembered via offspring), and their historical and Biblical example should be left behind in the pages that recorded their shamefulness.

    • Gany T.

      Helovesme, your comment just picked me up, encouraged me, and was published / I saw it (this morning) on a day when I really needed it. Thank you.

      This is a powerful post. Thank you, Barb.

    • Thank you Helovesme. Another great comment from you! 🙂

      • Helovesme

        Thank you Barb for such a wonderful post. I’m hoping more persons will retroactively be able to read and read into your insights.

  4. Helovesme

    Barb, there was something I had to wanted to try to encourage you with from this post, but it eluded me and I honestly thought I should cross it off my list.

    Pastor Sam just posted a blog about “The Warrior Women” that actually resonated with what I wanted to offer you. So I thought maybe I should give it a shot.

    From the book of Judges: “Go and hide in the vineyards and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife.”

    I’ve noticed the Jewish culture as described in the Old Testament is very expressive. Words, songs, dancing and setting up memorials to honor the Lord. Feasting, celebrating and communing together. It was an active, artistic and very passionate way of life. I am trying to picture these women in the prime of their lives, unashamedly dancing in public, enjoying themselves but completely unaware that they were also exposing themselves to danger.

    There are SO many things victims can be told in order to at least assign partial responsibility for what was done to them. It might be just ONE small thing, or several small things. But those so-called loopholes make a bigger difference than one can imagine.

    Example: he was wrong for what he did to you but you were shouting as well and while that’s no excuse for his behaviors, you need to work on that. Um, what does my shouting have to do with his abusive actions towards me? They aren’t connected you say, but then again—they are?

    Back to those women. You might hear comments like: why didn’t you just stay home? You put yourself out there, dancing in possibly a provocative way—not knowing that you were being watched (but you should have considered that anyway). You made yourselves out to be targets. You came out into the open, exposing yourselves to unnecessary risk.

    Did you HAVE to dance at all? I mean, that’s a pretty powerful form of expression—didn’t you KNOW it would draw attention? Couldn’t you have enjoyed life in a far less attention-seeking way? Or did you INTEND to get attention? Did you secretly WANT those men to chase you down? Did it make you feel flattered, sought after?

    (The “provocative” insert is purely subjective. I threw that in there only to indicate that no matter how a victim dances or dresses, there will always be someone that thinks you were “asking for it,” and we know that is 100% false.)

    Let’s say they tried to dance at home. Well, did you consider that someone may have been watching you through the WINDOW? Why didn’t you close the curtains?

    Wait, you didn’t dance in the dark? In the light, your dancing silhouette may have drawn the eyes of anyone walking by!

    So, that’s a risk-free, trial-free, danger-free life you have in mind? Stay inside with the curtains drawn, in the dark, and THEN you are “free” to dance.

    Barb, I know you put yourself out there in the open, and that has caused you to become a target. Perhaps you’ve been told that if you had left your keyboard alone, none of this would have happened to you. We don’t like the way you “dance.” We think you’re “asking for it.” We think you’re just out for attention. Those young women should have considered that they may be watched as they danced, and being preyed upon was the result. You should have considered the same thing, and look at how you “caused’ the same thing to happen.

    The culture I come from is very dance oriented. It is like a language that we speak because it conveys a message of enjoyment and excitement. No one should suggest we are all GOOD at it. Some of my “moves” weren’t the best expressions of what I wanted to say. 🙂 Maybe some of your words weren’t the best expressions, but I’ve seen how you humbly acknowledged that. Just like the rest of us can and should.

    But you are never wrong for putting yourself out there. No writer or dancer worth his or her salt isn’t regretful for some of their chosen words, or chosen dance moves. Those young women had every right to live in the land they lived in—and coming out into that land to express their lives comes with it. Staying inside, never coming out, too scared of what MIGHT happen to them—that is no life at all.

    And it’s NOT risk free to live like that. People are preyed upon in their own homes, either from their own family members, or kidnapped and carried off from their homes. If those men were as determined to be predators, they’d find a way to prey on those young women.

    Back to being preyed upon in your own home. Maybe victims are blamed for daring to get married at all. Marriage IS a risky undertaking. Maybe they’re told that you should have remained single, stuck at home and never having a family. I mean, if you don’t get married, you don’t have a spouse that will abuse you, right?

    Well, let’s put aside that church leaders can abuse their own congregation, so as that follows, no one should ever go to church, either. Your own parents or siblings or other family members can prey on you, so I guess the children that are born are to blame for being born at all. If they’d stayed in the womb, or never got conceived at all—-they’re safe, right?

    I know you can see the crazy twists and turns, right?

    And here is the link to Pastor Sam’s wonderful blog post. I know he’s okay to reference on this site:

    https://myonlycomfort.com/2016/02/18/the-warrior-women-of-shiloh

    It’s on my to-do list to read the [ACFJ] Submission post. 🙂

    • Reaching Out

      Hi Helovesme,

      I changed some techie-type details in the link you provided for Sam’s blog post The Warrior Women of Shiloh to ensure the link in your comment is less likely to get somehow broken in the future.

      My apologies for changing the link you provided. Changing the link makes maintaining the ACFJ blog simpler.

      And yes, when applicable, I fix broken links in ACFJ comments, not just ACFJ blog posts or ACFJ site pages, so the value of a comment is not diminished. 🙂

      • Helovesme

        No, it’s perfectly fine. When I clicked “post” it told me it couldn’t be posted. Thankfully my comment was saved but maybe it got a little warped as I tried to re post it—-took several tries.

        Thank you for fixing whatever was needed!

    • Finding Answers

      Helovesme commented (20TH FEBRUARY 2020 – 11:35 AM) “…….there was something I had to wanted to try to encourage…..”

      ^That.

      There are MANY of your comments that provide me with encouragement, Helovesme, although I don’t always comment.

      It would take me pages-and-pages of text to explain the convolutions of how my mind works, and even then, there is no guarantee anyone would understand.

      You, however, have a gift for commenting on reality, not the PollyAnna style of commenting those pushing the “christianese” tendency to focus only on what they (those pushing “christianese”) choose to believe is good / gratitude / etc.

      Were I to need encouragement, I would MUCH rather read your comments than some of the tripe some “christians” communicate.

      • Helovesme

        Thank you so much Finding Answers. That is one of the kindest things anyone has ever said to me. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of facing discouragement for most of my life, and it destroys a person from the inside out.

        It’s hard for anyone to put their thoughts into coherent words. The first person to be honest with is yourself, IMO—-and then it does tend to “flow” easier when you try to explain or express yourself to others.

        And you can only be honest with yourself via the Holy Spirit. He searches our hearts like only He can. Many times, this is how darkness is not only conceived, but is allowed to spread. And while we can take ourselves to the Lord to do this down and difficult work, we can’t do it for others. It has to be a one on one decision with the Lord.

        I have suffered badly for putting myself out there, much as these young women paid a price for doing nothing wrong. I am still wrestling with the Lord on my end—should I have stayed away, never stepped out, and then not suffered?

        It might be obvious to some: of course you did nothing wrong! It might not so obvious to others: well, you did break the norms. It might be equally obvious to others, but in the opposite sense: you have no one to blame but yourself.

        I would like to see whatever He sees, and I hope His eyes will be the only “obvious” opinion that matters!

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