Peace Pentecost 1990 focused on the theme Breaking the Silence: A Call to End Violence Against Women. Church groups and communities across the country organized events to draw attention to the alarming rates of violent actions aimed at women.
In Washington, DC, Sojourners planned a worship service and march that culminated with an outdoor rally during which testimonies were offered as part of the effort to break the silence. The following reflection was one of the testimonies offered that day.
Judith Floyd, a member of Sojourners Community for many years, was a nurse practitioner at Columbia Road Health Services in Washington, DC when this article appeared.
-- The Editors
PENTECOST IS AN ANNIVERSARY time for me. Twelve years ago, I was assaulted and raped. It happened in the daytime, in my apartment complex, in another city. The man was a stranger to me. He was armed with a weapon. I feared for my life. I consider myself fortunate to have survived relatively unharmed physically. The emotional wounds, however, were devastating. It affected my life, and my faith journey as a Christian, in many ways. I would like to preface my story with the words of a Native American woman, Agnes Whistling Elk, taken from a plaque I keep on my desk:
If a woman makes an act of power, she's created something like a work of art. It changes her forever. It gives her new vision on this mother earth, teaches her to see. Teaches her to know what she feels and teaches her to feel what she knows. When that happens, she can recreate herself.
I am here for my sake today, to make an act of power, to take another step toward healing. I hope, in the process, that my words speak something to you and further the cause for which we are gathered.