Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
There are many parallels to an abusive relationship in this war of good versus evil taking place in the United States just now (good as in those who uphold the rule of law and freedom versus evil, those who want only to kill, steal, and destroy this nation and what it stands for).
One parallel in particular comes to mind on this momentous day, May 12, 2023, the day the invasion of our borders begins: when physical, emotional, and/or psychological assualts seem to converge at once, those who survive, whether in abusive relationships or (to the comparison) abusive regimes, maintain their focus and gather what skills and resources they have while continuing to resist and overcome the attacks that would break them if possible–until they can resolve them or leave.
The call to action in abusive relationships–and now in the attacks on our land–is two-pronged: do the next right thing and, then, having done all, stand firm.
Any abused individual or group of people can tell you, however, the hardest part of stopping the assaults is the point at which the bug-out bag is packed and hidden for a quick get away, a safe house is arranged, and the door stands open.
And. it’s. time. to. step. through.
To act on resolve.
Because as hard as that one thing might be, it’s imperative…
Talk to any survivor and they will tell you some form of, “I was exhausted and terrified, I took some losses, but I never knew I had so much courage and strength.” (Survivors of relationship abuse are excellent resources for insight and wisdom during our current national struggle, by the way.)
And this is one of the things evil fears most: those whose spirit they cannot break; those willing to take what, even formidable, risks they can to stop the attacks, whether they are young or old, fit or frail.
Through a spiritual lens, I am also reminded of the words of Betsie ten Boom as she lay dying in a concentration camp in Hitler’s Germany: “There is no pit so deep God’s love is not deeper still” because things for us, too, may get a lot worse before they ultimately get better.
To the power of love, both soft AND tough: although some think it shows weakness, if you think about it, this power has never failed.
But what of the power of the thieves, killers, and destoyers? Though for a season they may reign by fear and destruction, their legacy, like the statue of any power-crazed Ozymandias,* will eventually lay broken, smothered in the sands of time–while good thrives still.
So I want to say take heart, fellow patriots. Each of us must step forward, take the next, right risk and this time, we are told by world analysts, for the good of not only our nation but also for nations beyond our, just now broken, borders.
For even as evil gloats and schemes, the world is watching the people of the United States even though the current government seems opposed to all we have stood for.
In other words, the peoples of the world are hoping this people, us, are victorious. Many of them are praying, too, for us who represent the last bastion of the best kind of governance the world has to offer.
That is why millions flood our shores just now, though illegally.
If they could have the promise of freedom anywhere else, they would not risk invading us.
But to the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the feckless in power allowing the illegality to happen, and those who calculate carefully what they conjure up for us and for themselves: your risks will not ultimately succeed, because the end game of evil is only more evil, for it knows no good.
You, too, will eventually be overturned, overrun.
Fallen in the sand…
Friends, we have to not only take heart, but like those who step through the door to, or back to, freedom from their abusers, we must also keep heart, in this arguably unprecedented time in all of history.
For this nation, again, the last, best hope of freedom on the planet, is why the enemy we face as a nation just now, wants complete control of us in order to “fundamentally transform us” into their dream (but our and the world’s nightmare).
If they could.
But we face an especially hard task. The Rubicon is now behind us, it seems, because our government who should have protected us has put us in harm’s way in so many areas both literally and figuratively, it may well be up to everyman and everywoman, now.
But that’s as it should be, right? in a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
We sometimes forget that.
It’s our time, down here on the street; in the voting booth; on school boards; in local, state, and national elected positions; in writing corners; and prayer closets.
But if greater courage, strength, and forward movement is required, we must always let wisdom and prudence be the guide.
We still have a Constitution to work with and 350 million people among whom are a vast number, increasing by the day, of risk-takers and courage gatherers–and good people around the world rooting for our success as well.
Evil fears that, too.
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Source: Shelley’s Poetry and Prose (1977), cited in poetryfoundation.org