How far would you be willing to go to help your fellow man?
As a Catholic, I think I would be remiss if I didn't call to attention to the fact that Catholics the world over are currently in the holy season of Lent, where we're supposed to focus more on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=7903 in anticipation of Easter but even without Lent or Easter, the works of mercy set the standard for the manner in which we are supposed to live.
I get A LOT (and I DO mean a lot) of criticism for my DV Survivor Advocacy work because I don't maintain "professional boundaries" like everyone seems to think I should. I try to say YES more then I say no and I'm more interested in what we CAN do vs. what we can't; I want to know what's POSSIBLE to improve the plight and suffering of others, not be told what's "impossible" or to "just accept" the atrocities and injustice I have the misfortune to bear witness to.
Part of the problem I see with our society as a whole these days is how much self-interest takes precedence over and above anything and/or anyone else – something already predicted that would come to pass in The Bible:
Then many people will fall away, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people, and because lawlessness will increase, the love of many people will grow cold. Matthew 24:10-12, International Standard Version of The Bible, 2012
When Jesus went to the cross, you KNOW that was a really unpleasant deal but He saw His commitment to us through to the end; He didn't bail and go "This is too tough/too much, politically incorrect, I've done enough, I quit, this is beyond the scope of my services, etc." and because He didn't we can turn to Him when we need to without fear of rejection, a door being closed in our faces or being denied redemption and grace. Sigh, if only the DV services involved with mom's case starting at the end of 2006 had taken a lesson from Jesus' playbook and not ditched mom so close to the finish line, mom, her family, I and my family wouldn't be going through the living nightmare we are right now in 2013.
What’s really mind-boggling to me is when someone who sees themselves as an advocate for abuse survivors asks me HOW (or worse, WHY) I get “so involved” with my survivor moms; what I’d REALLY like to ask in response is “How can you not?” Worse then that is when those who’ve been entrusted with our most vulnerable betray them for their own self-preservation. Fire fighters don’t stop short at a blaze and say, “Hey, rushing in there to rescue people and extinguish the blaze could ruin my retirement plans if it doesn’t work out” do they?
The majority of DV survivors with children in-common with their abusers are looking at a “sentence” in family court that’s determined by the age of their youngest child; once they “successfully escape” their abusers, they can realistically expect to spend years in family court proceedings over visitation and custody until their youngest child turns 18 so DV support services that end once a TRO is issued, a divorce is finalized or at the end of a shelter stay, etc. is equivalent to stopping a root canal in mid-procedure and saying to the patient, “Ok, that’s all insurance’ll pay for” or “This is going past my quitting time” or “At least I did something to try to alleviate your pain”. When DV service providers throw up (or wash) their hands in an ongoing case, it’s no different then a dental surgeon quitting halfway through a root canal or a fire fighter failing to act because he/she just doesn’t feel like going into that particular blaze.
Know that saying “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”? DV “leaders” who place themselves and/or their organizations ahead of the people they’ve been entrusted to protect would rather manipulate the landscape then “leave the kitchen”. Those in positions of power bank their reputations and community standing against the vulnerabilities, shame and silence of the survivors so guess who emerges unscathed?
Yesterday President Obama reauthorized VAWA or the Violence Against Women Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Reauthorization_Act_of_2013 and local TV station – KITV – http://www.kitv.com/news/politics/Local-advocates-relieved-concerned-over-renewed-women-protection-act/-/8905242/19230882/-/item/0/-/pciite/-/index.html captured DVAC Chief Executive Officer, Nanci Kreidman, as saying
…we can never be complacent because there is still a lot of suffering.
Well, I gotta tell ya, mom, I and our families ARE suffering thanks in part to HER complacency in mom’s case!
Awards, accolades, wealth and fame don’t and won’t count for anything in God’s realm, where doing the right thing towards your fellow man is all that matters. If you’ve been going down the wrong road, take heart - there is REALLY GOOD news: forgiveness and redemption are there for those who are humble enough to seek such treasures. Remember:
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Matthew 6:24, International Standard Version of The Bible, 2012