This last week as I was struggling with some sickness, I let slip a day or two of prayers for the women who were abused by Larry Nazzar. I had gone 87 days following that pattern. Yet I missed two days last week.
The sickness wasn’t life threatening for me by any stretch. But with my age and the challenges this past year with adjusting to a new normal after my accident, it caught me by surprise. This thing wore me out, not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
I reflected on that last night. I began thinking about the more than 200 women who had been sexually abused by Nazzar, some more than 20 years ago. How many days have they faced their burdens? The weight of no one listening to them for years. And when some reported the people who could have helped never did anything. No one responded with help for them.
I wonder how tired, overwhelmed they felt all that time? And then they faced their abuser, and yet still they are attacked, sidelined, and ignored by #MSU and #USAG and others. This was not a episode from which they would recover with a couple weeks of rest.
This is daily, weekly, monthly, yearly —drains on the life, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. That is the tiring and wearying reality of so many. My little episode pales by comparison.
This reminds me when we pray for each of them, it is not just an instant in their lives, it is their lives. Yes, they are growing, maturing, but also hurting, angry, standing strong in public, and setting a course for many others who are beginning to address the horror, injustice, and pain.
And new names beyond the sports scandal are added to the list of abused, seemingly each day. Our prayer life is extended, not as a burden, but a necessity, a promise, a joy. They are Survivors and Conquerors. And, yes, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, these women are strong. And we stand with them as Prayer Warriors.
I am no longer sick or tired; my illness has passed. But my prayer focus for each of them continues. They all need our prayers, every day.
If I fail to do that, Lord, forgive me, strengthen me, and even give me the appropriate words in prayer. Here is God’s promise for us as we pray:
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 NAS)