i am in the middle of reading one of my hermeneutics articles on the structure of the rape of tamer from 2 samuel 13:1-22. i wanted to get some thoughts out while they come. this text has always stood out for me, i think the first time i read it i was about 11 years old maybe younger.
i have always been struck by the destruction of tamar and the corrosion of amnon in this story, yet with in this article i am finding words for my intuitive feelings. this is the story of a innocent woman's desecration at the hands of one who is meant to protect her, not only that but she is lead like a lamb to the slaughter by the other two men who are her protectors. and all of these elements touch my core but what stands out like a neon sign is a grammatical shift in the text. this distinction between "to know or lay with" and "laid her" the first is not entrenched in violence the second is the spiritual death of tamar. and how often do we...have i used the phrase "get laid" blindly encouraging this violent destruction of another being. in the verses leading up to the rape she has been stripped of her name and the honor of naming. and then she is stripped and left defiled by her half brother.
what shall i as a woman do with this passage? what are the connections between my value as a woman with men and tamar's? how then shall my brothers read this and what calling are they left with? why are the victims of abuse, the shamed ones when they have done nothing wrong?...why does shame come more readily than anger?
i don't understand this shame and yet maybe that is because it is so much apart of my life. i want to comfort this woman and raise her up, wash her clean and clothe her again in white. i want to have all those i love who have been desecrated in this way to be restored. abuse is so common and so destructive. i know this place well too. how can i as part of the church begin to help restore the raped to a place of honor and beauty?
all of these questions and thought are flying around in my head, with no answers in sight. well i better get back to my reading.