“I felt like I was coming home,” Barbara says. “I felt like everything would be okay.” This comment is from an article written by a woman who commented on her first thought when starting to read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy in an effort to re-gain her peace and equilibrium after a rape incident. (See article here.)
Her triumph reminded me of an incredible friendship I had with a friend who was going through therapy due to incest. During our friendship, I learned more about the power and fixity of purity that has stayed with me ever since.
When I first heard of the situations my friend had endured, I was shocked and furious. She was getting help through the therapy and was a determined young woman. I so wanted to help her.
I remember researching what I could do legally to help her. I got acquainted with many of the local resources dealing with women, sexuality and abuse. I worked in the school system at the time and even produced a cable television program on this issue that included interviews with area social service agencies, call-ins and production staff. The issue exhausted me, angered me, while at the same time I wanted to be strong for my friend.
I knew that all of these human footsteps were important and helpful. But what I needed, and my friend needed, was something much more deeply spiritual.
We must have talked and walked around a nearby lakes dozens of times. I prayed throughout our friendship and on one of our walks, I started sharing some of the spiritual ideas that I was learning:
1. Our very being is spiritual - it is the spiritual elements in life that move us, give us our identity, cause us to grow.
2. Our very being is pure - undefiled, untouched. This is a fixed fact and is unalterable.
3. Nobody can touch our spiritual being - our spiritual identity. Just as no one can change the idea of the numeral nine, no one can change the idea or spiritual being that is you and me.
4. Our identity is not that of a victim, of a vulnerable person who lacks strength, intelligence, courage. These suggestions are shadows that fluctuate and flee in light of the purity that is ours.
5. Violence, perversion, coercion -- these are not our fault. It is not brought about by some perceived lack in ourselves. It is born of ignorance and dies of ignorance. It has no power, presence, influence or reason unless we give it to them.
6. The most loving thing we can do for one another is to not believe in the shadows, but affirm one another's light -- one's primitive purity.
I also relied heavily on some tried and proven foundation stones for my life.
My friend and I exchanged many spiritual ideas for months. She remained strong and significant and healthy changes were made in her life.
Key to the healing was forgiveness - the ability to see the power of Love and the powerlessness of errant actions to take anything of substance away from what God has given us. Later, we both went on to graduate school and lost touch. But what remained is that unshakeable truth that I can now come home to - Our purity is a fixed fact.
*article first appeared in http://kimckorinek.blogspot.com/2010_09_01_archive.html
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016