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.
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 ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more