I Didn’t Believe

I didn’t believe.
God help me, I didn’t believe.

It was a normal stressed out Wednesday. I was getting ready to go home for supper and take a break before services when the phone rang. I heard the words, “something’s happened and it’s bad.”

Before the evening was through, a professional counselor would tell us she believed Cole had been molested.

A handicapped young man.
Wheelchair bound.
Totally dependent.
Mentally deficient.
Molested (and worse) at the hands of a seventy year-old man.

On our part, there was tears, anger, hurt, and confusion.

How could this be?
How could such a thing happen?

And then my distorted view of reality kicked in.
No way.
Not possible.
There has to be some kind of mistake.
Cole is just confused. He has no idea of such things.

I didn’t believe.
God help me, I didn’t believe.

How could I?
How could I suspend disbelief and even think such a thing was possible?

I know these things happen all the time. I know that sick perversions warp, hurt, and do damage to a degree we may never fully comprehend.

All the time.
In situations and places where kids ought to be safe.

I know this intellectually, but emotionally, I still find it hard to wrap my mind around such a thing. It makes no sense to me at all.

I didn’t believe.
God help me, I didn’t believe.

While we had lots of lively arguments and discussions at my house during those early days of discovery and comprehension, I was still determined to support my son. The disbelief of others made me incredibly angry.

And yet,
I didn’t believe.
God help me, I didn’t believe.

Before you judge me, hear me out.
I didn’t believe, not because I distrusted or doubted my son.

I was a Daddy who loved his boy with all that I was or could ever hope to be. Still do.
I didn’t believe because I didn’t want to.
Would you?

Who could want to believe such a horrible thing? I would much rather Cole be confused or even dishonest than to be forced into believing such horrible things had happened to him under my watch.

I didn’t want to believe because I didn’t want it to be true.

But, God help us, it was true and I had to believe.

You need to believe too.
You need to believe that there are sick evil people in this world who prey on the helpless, the innocent.
You need to believe there are those who will go to any measure to infiltrate the lives of good people in order to fulfill their wicked desires.

When it does happen to someone you know, please be sure to understand that how you handle the knowledge can have a lasting effect.

I didn’t believe.
God help me, I didn’t believe.

But I believe now.
And that belief will ever be vigilant for the predators among us.

If you or your church are interested in a conversation along these lines, please let me know.

Les Ferguson, Jr.

It Has To Stop

You must meet Clara Hinton.

She is a wife and mother.
She is also a former preacher’s wife.

Her husband is serving hard time for child molestation.
At least 23 counts.
Over at least a 40 year time frame.

He was a preacher.
A trusted man.
A loved man.
A believable man.

At the same time, he was a purveyor of a consummate evil.
He betrayed those who entrusted him.
He used the Bride of Christ as avenue to perpetuate a horror far to great to even try and comprehend.

You simply must meet Clara Hinton. She is on the front lines… she has had an experience of evil that is all to common. She has a first hand knowledge of how those who prey on children work.

To ignore her is dangerous.

On her blog she tells the story of her experiences. Just a little bit of reading will catch you up to where she is in sharing this strange journey. Her wisdom is compelling.

As one who has had the evil of molestation invade and destroy, let me make you a most solemn promise: You want to do everything you can to avoid, evade, and stop molesters.

It is an evil that has a lasting impact.

Here are two things Clara Hinton says in her latest blog post:

Pedophiles are liars and manipulators on every level. Playing people as puppets delights them. They are masters of deception and they know how to take total control.

Pedophiles are conniving, manipulating, deceitful liars who work hard to harm our children. It’s time for us to open our eyes wide and stop this horrendous cycle of abuse!!!

Please take the time to listen to her and her son, Jimmy. He too is writing and sharing information we need.

I don’t know how much speaking and teaching I will get to do on the subject, but I plan to educate as much as possible–it is another way to honor those I have lost as a result of this pervasive horror.

And guys, if I might add one more thing or make one more suggestion, it would be this: trust the instincts of your wife. Even if you have to apologize later, you will be better off doing that than living with the results if she was right and you did not honor the threat she perceived.

Been there and doing that. In that regard, don’t be like me!

God bless and have a happy Lord’s Day tomorrow!

Les Ferguson, Jr.

I’m Bringing Sexy Back (Bet You Read This!)

Go ahead and admit it. Even if you are a first class prude (nothing wrong with that), you want to know why I would write a blog post with a title such as this.

We all know sex sells and grabs attention, but even with that, you are dying to know what the crazy ex-preacher-not-sure-if-he-is-still-a-preacher is going to say next.

I don’t often get to be smug about anything, but I’ll take smug on this one.

Just make it easier on everybody, admit it… you want to know…

But first, let me triple dog dare you (as I pull out the big guns on this one) to read and share this post…

A couple hundred shares, a few thousand views and we would go a long way to stopping the power and devastation from those who prey on our children.

Today, I am bringing sexy back!

Guess what child molesters and normal folks alike have in common?

Drum roll please…

SEX!

If you are like me (heaven help us, I hope you are), thinking about sex from the perspective of a child molester is about as repugnant as it gets.

That’s not the topic of anything I ever want to write about, so relax just a little bit. Not going there!

But don’t relax too much, because I still want you to think about SEX!

SEX!

This is about the time where my wife, mother, and both mother-in-laws start having a collective cow. Nonetheless, I will admit to my biology. I am as sexually driven as any other healthy, red-blooded male.

Shocking, I am sure. But, like other normal people, as God intended, I like and appreciate the gift of sex.

And the reality is quite simple even if we are not accustomed to talking about it. God created sex–not just as a way to procreate, but also as a component of a healthy relationship between a husband and wife.

Sex was never intended to be just a physical act, but instead, one with great emotional implications as well.

I am thankful for God’s gift. It is a blessing.

Are you done giggling and snickering?

Because here’s where it gets very hard and difficult.

The blessing of sex can quickly and easily become a curse.
And the sad reality or the simple fact is this: sex is now more of a curse in our culture than the blessing it was intended to be.

We are all out of whack.
We could talk about promiscuity and we probably should.
We can talk about pornography and we probably should.

But long before we get to those topics we need to simply recognize we are a sex-saturated culture.

Nothing sells a car, a shirt, a pair of pants, or even a tube of toothpaste like sex.

But let’s not blame the advertisers. They are simply parroting the values of a society that revels in distorting good into the macabre and horrendous.

I am no prude.
But I am thankful I don’t have daughters.

Our culture has objectified women. We have made them into objects of intense sexuality. We often can’t see their real value as people of worth because all we can see is what they are wearing (or not) and how that rocks our little world.

In this culture of hyper sexuality and unrestrained passions, is it any wonder that kids get a warped sense of what is right and good and decent?

I don’t profess any real scientific knowledge or data about why perverts become perverts. I have no idea how Paul Buckman personally became the fiend who ripped our world asunder. I feel quite certain there is some cycle of abuse and pain and little self-worth that contributes greatly to the making of a child molester.

But long before those things become issues, it is time for parents, for the home, and for our society and culture at large to start modeling a healthy sexuality.

Men, don’t teach your boys by attitude and action that women are objects.
Ladies, don’t teach your daughters that sexuality is a weapon or tool in their arsenal.

Demand respect. Accept nothing less.

Every action you take to promote sexuality in its proper guise may just help somebody not get a warped sense. And when they have a right concept of sex, maybe we’ll find less perversion instead!

I am bringing sexy back. The right way. The best way. The way God intended.
How about you?

Les Ferguson, Jr.