Tears filled his eyes, while shame filled his heart. As he sat listening to the conversation, he knew he was guilty. He knew he was a victim as well. But the behavior was so common. It had almost become normal. He was never taught that it was wrong, though inside he knew it. The turmoil inside was unbearable. If he confessed he would be punished. If he didn’t, it would kill him. He didn’t want to be that person anymore. But everyone would know. They would know what he did. They would know what he was still doing. They would know what was done to him. They would know who he was.
These women were saying things that he no one had said to him before. Touching was wrong. Victim or perpetrator, it was wrong. Just because someone did to you doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t give you permission to do it to others. Something inside told him they were right. He needed to stop. He needed to confess. He needed to change.
This was the moment. Had he kept silent, he would still be the same. Had he kept silent, he would continue to be his step-father. He would continue the behavior. His secrets would still be his. But something about these women was different. They seemed to care. They promised a different way, a different future. What they said actually made sense. It is wrong to continue. It is wrong to keep it all in. So he let it out.
As he poured out his heart, tears poured out his eyes. He revealed the past, and the present. As he did, the arms came around him. He begged for help. He begged for forgiveness. The arms became tighter. As the truth spilled out, the love spilled in. His confession was answered with encouragement, not punishment. This was a moment of change, of repentance, of freedom. He no longer had to carry the burden. But he did have to change. And change is what he did.
He was given a mentor. Someone to counsel him through this difficult time. And over time, he became a new person. From perpetrator to protector. From victim to victor. He now lives free of the shame and guilt. He now lives as example and leader. No longer a hinderer, he is a helper. He broke the cycle that is common and became the uncommon. Leader, role model, friend, brother. The real man inside has been revealed. Now everyone knows who he really is. Defender, warrior, forgiven, Son of God.