Without really digressing from the SNAP conference, I want to continue in the line of thinking that Tom Doyle left with us. About liberation. Yet going to another organization that I found through Catherine Clark Kroeger and advocate and writer who is working hard to address the problems of domestic abuse in the Christian community.
Kroeger has been instrumental in establishing Peace and Safety in the Christian Home http://www.peaceandsafety.com/ The organization has a wonderful newsletter that I recently began receiving. The title of the front page of article of June/July 2008 issue is "Free Indeed." It's Part 3 of a series, written by Joanna Barr. Based on Exodus 7:14-10.
Barr points out that Pharaoh's promises, interspersed with the 9 plagues in Egypt, illustrate well the cycle of abuse. Because of the persistence and divine power exhibited by the plagues, the abuser was only able to be successful to an extent. Yet each time there was resistance, he made promises of letting his victims go. Only to abandon those promises as soon as there was relief from the pressure.
You may believe in the story literally, viewing God as one who uses violence to confront violence. I saw it that way for many years. Today I see the story as a metaphor with great meaning. Either way it holds a message about where a loving God stands. It's on the side of liberation.
Psychologically, I do not have to plead with anyone to let me go. If I am entrapped psychologically by anyone, I am the Pharaoh that is not letting myself be free of the one or the institution that is entrapping me. Keeping me from being the person that I now understand God intends for me to be. A person who has truly been liberated.