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I keep thinking I'll find some way to describe it. I hunt through a mental repository of images, analogies, and metaphors, searching for a suitable vehicle for faithfully telling it. I arrive at nothing. For how does one say, plainly, all that it is to be raped?

Only Ezekiel 16:5–6, the graphic description of an exposed infant, approaches anywhere near it: "No eye looked on you with pity ... you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised ... then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood."

Defiled. Polluted. Castoff. Exposed. Abhorred. And, most dreadful of all: defenseless.

This is what it feels like to be raped.

Immobilized

I was 21-years old, barely five months after returning to the Christian faith. My rapist lived in the parsonage. He was young, serving as a youth pastor while attending a nearby seminary. I'd come roaring back to the faith after a brief dalliance with atheism and agnosticism. My enthusiasm quickly secured me a position on the leadership team for the youth group, within close working conditions of the youth pastor.

Before long, I began to notice strange, questionable behaviors. Phone calls, flirtations, casual references to meeting with married women in the middle of the night. At first, I thought my perception unreliable—after all, he was the youth pastor, the seminarian. And I? A heathen whose discernment could hardly be trusted. But as the weeks wore on, I grew more confident in my assessment.

So one evening as we carpooled to a youth leadership meeting, I confronted him about his relationships with two married women in our church—mothers of children in the youth group. I mentioned all I had witnessed ...

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