by Kelly Pelton (written 09 Mar 2022)

I cannot be complicit in a culture of abuse.
Individuals make mistakes but now
that God has brought about a final truce
between our corruption and the punitive to which we bow,

we don't reject each other as people of God,
bearing with one another in love, but still
we dodge those fellowships that have always trod
upon the women as though it is God's will.

Abuse can be so institutional
that many fail to recognize it as such;
it's always been like this, imperceptible,
until we feel the Holy Spirit touch

that nudges us to see what's in His word
and read with conscience sharpened by His light
and study prayerfully what we have heard
to tease out what is wrong from what is right.

For those in unrepentant congregations,
I pray for moral quickening and boldness;
let them not fear the top-down condemnations
that spring from cautious legalistic coldness.