Opportunities for Growth. Or Beauty from Ashes. Part 1.

I haven’t blogged lately on purpose.  There are a few reasons I have stayed away, but the biggest is probably due to the need to allow my anger to dissipate and to allow perspective to take its place.  Perspective that could only come with the passage of time.  And prayer.  Lots of prayer.

Of course I’m referring to the “story” on the Yahweh Center Children’s Village by a few former employees with the help of a local news station (and I now use the term “news” lightly in referencing that particular station).   To sum it up, these employees were upset because the paycheck they were due to receive on one date would not be able to be released until a few days later.  It has been no secret that in light of recent changes in the NC Mental Health system, in addition to our hurting economy, that the Yahweh Center has been struggling.  My mother has shared this in radio interviews and a news story in the last year and a half.  And it is very hard for ALL the staff financially, no doubt about it.  My mother included.

So based on complaints by these former employees to the media, a reporter decided to do a story and the day they planned to run it, they finally called the Yahweh Center at about 4:30pm to ask about the other side of the story.  They planned to run the story at five and had been planning the story for a few weeks (because, unfortunately, checks have had to be delayed before- again, only a few days after they were due).  My mother managed to convince them that it was only right for them to invest a little more effort into doing a balanced story.  As it became quickly clear, balance wasn’t a goal of this reporter.

Long story short, the majority of this segment was incredibly inaccurate.  Amazingly so.  But what got to me was not the reporter so much (although I am simply astounded at the lack of accountability for the media when it comes to reporting!), but those staff members, who identify themselves as Christians.  The staff members that didn’t follow the Biblical model of airing grievances, and didn’t even follow the agency’s outline of how to air grievances, but instead went to the media.  And they said they had to do it “for the children”, yet two of the employees had refused to come on shift to work at the last minute until they got paid, putting the kids (and their coworkers) at risk.

What was hardest of all, however, was seeing the comments section underneath the story on the “news” station’s web page.  I cried.  I got angry.  I cried out of both fury and heartbreak.  Because never have I seen such gleeful attacks on not only an agency that does an amazing job serving children, but on my mother.  I will not recount those comments here.  I feel sick to my stomach when I think about it.  The majority of the comments were extraordinarily immature and were completely fabricated, aside from the truths of the Yahweh Center’s financial struggle over the past few years.  I do have to say though, that whoever commented that my mother has a housekeeper and a gardener, as well as an island home, has an awesome imagination.  Oh, and that my husband and I were going with my mom to this island home last weekend.  I did have to laugh when I heard that.  I wish!

But the majority of the comments were also cruel.  You know what that comment section reminded me of?  Have you seen the most recent remake of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe?  You know the scene where Aslan voluntarily gives himself to the White Witch as a sacrifice due to Edmund’s treachery (sin)?  And all of the White Witches minions, all the creatures on her side, are almost drunk with the pure happiness and satisfaction over Aslan’s impending torture and death?  Obviously different situations, but a similar spirit came across in those comments.

And that is when the verse from Ephesians (6:12) came to mind, which says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  And while my anger continued to boil towards those employees that were simply lying, I recognized the whole thing for what it was.  A spiritual attack.  The devil was roaming like a roaring lion, seeking to devour the whole of the Yahweh Center and my mother as its leader.  Why?  Because the mission of the Yahweh Center is for hope, healing, and restoration for these children, and while the staff do top-notch clinical work and take care of these children physically and emotionally, it is the spiritual element that makes the Yahweh Center unique.  Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of this ministry. And these kids are healing fully.

I’d like to say that I responded by continuing on in Ephesians 6:13 where it describes the spiritual armor of God.  But I didn’t right away.  My anger hindered that at first.  And some of my anger was certainly righteous anger.  But some of it wasn’t.  I did choose to comment at first to clarify a few things and to respond to some outright lies that a former employee and to express my disappointment with the station for such unethical and inaccurate reporting.  But even though I did temper my comments (by the grace of God) for the most part, I neglected to include scripture in my response to the person claiming to be a Christian (*note- I do not know her heart but right now, I do see her fruit.  She may be a Christian but this is not being reflected in her behavior.)  The sword of the Spirit, aka the word of God, is the one offensive weapon listed in the armor of God, and I neglected to use it.

But I have learned a lot from this whole terrible experience and I’ll share more on it in the next few days.  Meanwhile, for those of you willing, please continue praying for God to work this situation for good (as He has been!) and for all the Yahweh Center staff and children.


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