In the wake of all that is going on at Penn State my heart is extremely heavy and goes out to everyone that has been affected by the actions of Jerry Sandusky. I will not use the word “alleged”. Here is the definition:
I’m okay with the first definition, but the second definition doesn’t even apply to this case. The only thing doubtful, suspect, or supposed is how many victims Jerry Sandusky has, not if he indeed did anything inappropriate. Yet, Mr. Sandusky is the first person my heart goes out to ironically. Whether his deviant behavior was the result of an unmanaged internal proclivity or the unwanted external perversion of another we may or may never know, but he is the genesis of all the hurting we have in this story. The victims he preyed on are the result of that hurt, and their hurt has no doubt impacted their families, friends, and how they see and interact with the world.
Whether everyone needed to be fired is up for heated debate, but I do commend the Board of Trustees for dealing with the ugliness of this situation and not the allegiance to their coaches. Joe Paterno spent his life trying to call the right plays that would put his team in a position to win. He is a legend for that. He didn’t call the right play off the field in making sure kids were protected from harm. He is a liability for that. Mike McQueary? Well, my prayer for Mike is that he is not 84 years old before the benefit of his hindsight informs him that he should have done more. These types of situations happen because men pervert their positions of power to gain influence and control over their victims reinforced by manipulation, intimidation, and (wait for it) compensation. Whether that be financial or through special privileges, these positions of power allow this type of behavior to hide for generations. The truth is that no amount of money (or the equivalent therefore) can erase those memories.
I was 8 years old when I was molested by a neighbor across the street. It happened to every boy (that I knew of) on our block including my younger brother. Gripped by confusion and fear, I laid silent under layers of insecurity and low self esteem. A couple of years later this person was caught and the abuse stopped, but not the memories. As I grew older and understood what happened and how, I grew angry. I wanted to be 8 again. I wanted to tell him to stop. Punch him. Bite him. Tell my parents. Joe Paterno is not the only person who feels like he should have done more. The victims, older and wiser, wish they would have done more. The parents no doubt wish they would have done more. Molestation leaves everyone with regrets.
I found my healing in Jesus Christ. For me, my life has no meaning without Him. My relationship with Him has healed me from everything you have read above. I have forgiven my molester and prayed that He find the Person he really needed to touch, Jesus Christ. I pray for Jerry Sandusky as much as I pray for the victims. They are both hurting. I pray that however you may feel personally that you realize that none of us were ever meant to carry secrets. Secrets produce secretions. Mentally, emotionally, relationally. Secrets seep. The light erases darkness. The truth erases lies. Transparency erases secrets. May His light and truth gives us the grace to walk in transparency.