I'm sitting here listening to the "noon whistle" - every first Friday of every month of the spring and summer months, the tornado siren goes off for two minutes. "This is a test, this is only a test." No matter where you are in the city, you can hear the siren.
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of working with a very cool student who was born in Bosnia. (He has since passed the exam and become a US citizen...that was a wonderful day)
He remembers the air raid sirens. He remembers hearing the sirens and hiding...and then hearing (and feeling) the bombs.
When he came to the States...he'd hear a siren and panic. Fire engines, ambulances...all causes for great alarm.
Every single siren was a cause for panic.
I see that out there - in the Calvinims vs. Arminianism deal...comp vs. egal...Protestant vs. Roman Catholic...Mormon, Islam, yada, yada...
If, in everything we read, we read it through the lenses of what is worst in our own past, we will think the worst of everybody else out there.
If we read articles, blog, books...with the lenses of our own abuse (whether we were the victims or perpetrators), we are more likely to see abuse.
When I read an article about cessationism, I read it through the lenses of a person who believes she has had brushes with the prophetic. It is hard for me to comprehend a "silent" God.
When I see women out there who have been open about their past with controlling, neglectful or abusive (or any combination of the three sins) reading blogs and articles and seeing only the possibility of abuse, I wonder how much of what they see is the article and how much is the the set of lenses they are looking through.
I have my own set of lenses. I can see neglect (where none is there). I can see a husband with a skewed sense of priorities (when I may be wrong, the priorities may be shared). I can see a person who does not care about one thing (when they really only have different priorities than I do).
I can dread doing one act because I fear what the next step might be...even when I know in my brain that is not the case.
The "D" I know now...when he hears that "noon whistle" - no matter where he is, he runs outdoors and stands, eyes closed. Just listening to the whistle.
He hears the fire truck and tells everybody around him, "do you hear that? They're going to help somebody."
He's learning not to use his "Bosnian" lenses.
He's getting over his past.
Perhaps the healing starts when we learn that the lenses of the past can sometimes keep us from seeing clearly.
Perhaps the healing begins when we stop automatically fearing the worst and start expecting the best.