Friday, 14 January 2011

A DIFFERENT SORT OF ELDER ABUSE.

Thanks to media exposure, society is well-acquainted with the tragedy of elder abuse. Increased vigilance by neighbours and friends during the past few decades resulted in the authorities liberating many seniors from domineering adult children.

All too often, church elders can be as abusive to younger congregants as the above-mentioned adult children are to their parents or grandparents. In my How I Was Razed memoir, I depict how one opinionated woman, who later became the senior minister of the home-based church, verbally assaulted me for missing most of a pre-sunday service study.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

As in the incident of my glaucoma diagnosis, I ran afoul of Sister R's temper once again. She announced on the first Sunday morning in January of 1981 that she would be holding meetings an hour before the regular worship service wherein we would study transcripts of Brother H's teachings.

I awoke the next Sunday thinking that we still followed the old schedule. After eating a leisurely breakfast and dressing, I decided to walk to Thee church so that I could enjoy the snow-covered river valley scenery. When I opened the front door of the house and called, "hello? It's me, Bruce," nobody answered. Then I remembered about the early study meeting. I rushed outside to the basement door, as Sister R instructed, and hurried through Brother H's hallway to the sanctuary. She glared at me as she sat at the card table with her daughter.

"I'm really sorry I'm late," I began.

"You have missed a very important meeting!" she bellowed. "Your inconsideration kept us waiting forty-five minutes. You were told about this meeting last Sunday and here you stroll casually in as if it didn't matter."

"I really am sorry," I said as I removed my parka and hung it on the back of my chair. "I forgot we were meeting earlier today."

"You must try harder to be on time. Sister E and I are busy people and we take time out of our schedule to put on these meetings."

"I'm sorry I forgot. I'll try to come on time next week."

"See that you do that then, young man."

Throughout the remaining minutes of the meeting and the worship service, I seethed as I smarted from Sister R's rebuke.

The pre-worship service Sunday meetings struggled on for a few months. Since no other members expressed interest and because I was the only other faithful attender, Sister R discontinued them.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

How I Was Razed is the testimony of the way I was mislead by a cult church, how I turned my back on God after I felt he perennially failed to heal my eyes, and how he graciously brought me to my senses.

My previous books, When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) and Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), are now available online by clicking here or by clicking here to e-mail me directly.