I’m not sure I can even put my thoughts down in words, but I’m going to try. Yesterday afternoon Drew asked me to get on Facebook since I was at work and he was at home because he had something to talk to to me about. So I did and he proceeded to tell me in chat that one of his youth leaders at church had done something very bad. This youth leader, who I’ll call *Tom worked at a youth camp in another state last summer. Since then he’s come back here as this is his hometown, where he also attends college. Anyway, Tom was arrested yesterday for child molestation at the camp last summer. He is being held here until they extradite him back to state where the camp was held. While that doesn’t directly affect Drew, what does affect him is that Drew saw Tom as a good Christian man. This was someone he strived to be like. Drew looked up to this person and saw him as a role model. This guy helped Drew in his confirmation classes, in his weekly disciple group, at Sunday School, and weekly MYF. To say that Drew was devastated to learn this is an understatement.
Drew ended up not being able to get to sleep at his normal bedtime last night, so he got back on Facebook, where he proceeded to tell me that his emotions were just out of control. He said he just couldn’t imagine Tom doing something like that. Tom never showed any signs of any of this at church. Drew said he almost doesn’t believe it’s really true. We continued chatting and as the chat went on he felt better. I told him I was glad that he was talking about it and not trying to push his feelings away.
So today I’ve been a mess. All this has me just feeling blah. Although, I didn’t know this guy he obviously had a huge effect on my son and I know that he’s still struggling with the news of this. Like Drew said last night, he’s never had to deal with anything like this. He’s never had his trust so betrayed, especially not in such a vile manner. To know someone you had 100% trust in could go do something like that to boys younger than you? WOW! My mind is swimming and I’m not a teenager having to deal with this.
I talked with some of my student workers who are involved with our church’s college program. They are reeling from this as well. My point in bringing this up is that Tom was a likable guy, who others saw a good person who chose a Christ-centered life. Drew wasn’t the only person who was deceived. I know when I have something like this happen to me, I find myself questioning my character compass. You know the little voice in your head that says “yah, this is a good person, someone I can trust, someone who won’t steer me wrong.” Ya know? That was something I talked to Drew about last night and he said that he’s worried about finding out what bad things other people that he trusts have done. Man, what a hard feeling to swallow, but like I told him, it’s part of life and know like anything else, we have to take the lemons and make them into lemonade. Learn from it and move on. I know with time, Drew will take this sick feeling that he’s feeling now and will grow from it.
If you’re the praying kind, I would be appreciative of prayers for this situation, Drew, the boys that were hurt by this and their families, law enforcement to ensure they get the facts straight, and yes, I hope that you would pray for Tom and his family and really all that know Tom. There’s a whole lot of healing that needs to go on.
*Tom is not the guy’s name, but I chose not to use the specific details of all this. If you feel the need you can google it. Although, there are not a lot of facts being put out there because it is an on-going investigation.