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Grassroots Commentary

Lost Innocence

Rona Swanson · Jun. 26, 2015

When I was a young married woman and a new mommy, a movie came to our small Nebraska town.

It had been talked about and advertised on a popular radio station. The wait had been long since the movie was held over again and again due to its popularity, but now it had arrived. My husband was eager to see it and so we went to the drive-in where it was playing.

It was to be a scary movie. I knew that.

Right away, the movie depicted a murder and then the murderers said that they would rape the female survivor. I was horrified and disturbed. I felt physically ill and asked to leave. My husband told me just to close my eyes. I did but I could still hear the sounds and I began shaking and felt like I was either going to throw up or pass out. Infant Sara was on my lap sleeping, but my alarm ran through her like an electric current, and soon she was fussing and crying.

Disgusted, my husband drove us home with me in tears.

That night I could not sleep without the light on. I was still in shock and terror.

I think back on that young woman, so distraught, so traumatized.

Fast forward forty years.

I find that very little shocks me now, not much can disturb me — and today I am grieving for the desensitizing of my own heart.

I suppose it is good that I am able to handle shock better than I did so long ago.

I could probably view that movie now without batting an eye.

There is a loss of innocence, an acceptance of brutality, and a numbness to the horror of cruelty and violence, that disturbs me now. And like an electric current of alarm, it is flowing through me today.

I mourn my lost innocence. I mourn my insensitivity.

I am praying for heart tenderizer — for me, for you, for our culture before we become incapable of feeling much of anything.

Ephesians 4:18, New International Version (NIV): “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”

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