Confronting obscenity

When I was in graduate school, I was awakened one night by a phone call. When I picked up the phone, a man began telling me things he was going to do to me sexually, and it really frightened me. I had never heard that kind of talk before, and to be awakened in the middle of the night by such obscene language made it seem overpowering. I immediately hung up the phone and began to pray.

As I became still, the following passages from my favorite psalm came to my thought: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear…. Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:1, 2, 10). These passages reminded me that I could silence fear by knowing that divine Love surrounds and protects me every moment.

I found these words very comforting, and I began thinking of God as infinite, divine, ever-present, and all-powerful Love. Since divine Love is All-in-all, then even this man who had called me had to be embraced in God’s tender care and governed by God’s law. His behavior was not true to what he really was, and it had no power to control him. The Bible says in Genesis, chapter 1, that man, male and female, is the image and likeness of God, Spirit; so, I reasoned that it was natural for this man to express spiritual purity and goodness.

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