Published with permission May 3, 2009 by Lillian
"I felt that I needed to write this story, and I want to give it to you, to tell you to hang
in there, to keep doing what you are doing and to thank you Peggy, for being a dove. Because at the heart of what you are
doing is the quest which is a peace for the hurting, the peace of great price. I have spoken to you on the phone. You
are a kind person who has been deeply, deeply hurt by the Catholic Church.
Your website. Sound in the silence.
Thanks for all your hard work. Someday, there will be no more rocks, and the hurting will be nurtured to health in a
healing environment. It may not happen in our lifetime. It may never happen. I still believe in heaven and I have found out
that in the silent treatment the church gives, I can still sing. I can create sound.
Thanks for your website. This
story is dedicated to your efforts. It's below."
Penelope's Song by Lillian
She was nothing much to look at. Penelope was a bird. God only knows what kind of bird
she was. Some people called her an ugly bird. Few knew her real value.
Penelope loved the sunrise. Each morning, she would sit on a branch
and as the sun rose into the sky, she would call into the air a gentle thanks to God for creating the day. The
thing about sunrises is that they are so beautiful, solemn and joyous celebrations of overcoming.
As the dark faded to grey then to warm golden tones,
Penelope watched the sunrise usher in a blue eyed day. She sent another call into the air. She loved to
day, while quietly sitting on a branch in a tree, a group of kids came along on the their way to school and threw rocks at
Penelope. What they were doing was wrong. Like most wrong things humanity does, they
are not punished. They are defended and then life moves on leaving injury uncared for.
"It's just a stupid bird"
"The bird flew into my face so I attacked her!"
One could create a thousand excuses. Yet the truth remains
that the kids threw the rock, and the rocks hit this beautifully plain bird. With a mournful wail, she
fell to the ground, left for dead as the kids moved past to catch the school bus.
Little Madeline wandered out from her house that morning and saw Penelope on the ground. Madeline
was 4 years old and not quite ready to go to school yet, but with her chubby, caring, soft hands she scooped up the injured
bird and ran to her mother, crying.
the bird is hurting, can you fix it?" said Madeline.
Madeline's mom looked sadly at the bird. She didn't know what to do. She knew of a special place one could
take birds to, a kind vet whose office was not too far away. Carefully, the bird was placed into
a special box and taken to the vet. The vet carefully diagnosed a broken wing and taped the wing.
She looked at Madeline's tearful eyes and said "don't worry, I will help this little bird free of charge."
Madeline's mom asked the vet, "what type of bird
The vet responded, "it's a
lived in the vet hospital for three weeks til she was well enough to fly again. Carefully the vet
set her free to the air and whispered "don't give up!"
Penelope watched the sunrise the next morning. There was a tiny scar on her wing, but
she survived the attack. As the sun rose up into the sky, she sent out a beautiful coo coo coo....
Another blue eyed day. A Saturday in fact.
Penelope flew into the park and there were the same group of kids, celebrating a birthday party. One of them picked
up a rock, but quickly, a parent's hand came and calmly grasped the boy's fist encircling the rock and said "no!"
I am reminded of a verse from the Bible that has continued
to be my favorite through these past 8 years of healing. "In this world, you will have trouble. But
take heart, for I have overcome the world."
was a survivor. She overcame the attack. Will you take a rock and strike her? Will you chastise her for
hurting when she was hit with that rock? Would you be like the vet who helped carefully love her back to health?
Was it Penelope's fault that the rock hit her? Is she truly a stupid bird?
Kids grow up into adults and yet, we have a lot to learn.
Silence is golden except when it is intentional and judgementalism can corner someone who is hurting to a place deep
within self. Many survivors do not attend churches. They feel judged and blamed.
Jesus walked to the cross for all of that, you
say. Why then, the anger? Why then, the silence? Will you throw a rock at a survivor?
Amazing. For being such a stupid bird,
Penelope was the symbol of something that needs to embrace the hearts of humanity and that is peace. You
can't do it by judging the hurting. You can't do this by blaming those wronged. You can't have peace unless you come to terms
that it was YOUR HAND that held that rock. Each time you verbalized complaints against someone who is overcoming, each time
you used the silent treatment to octracize that survivor, you held the rock, you nailed the nail, His hand into the cross.
Morning dawned the next day and Penelope continued to
sing, for the very God you pray to never forgot His precious Penelope the Peaceful Mourning Dove, even though you did.
This story was especially written for those who have
been writing in to the educatingtoendabuse.com website to complain about Peggy and her work. I wanted to share with you in
a way that you can understand. You cannot throw the rock and then welcome the person to go to church with
you. There are wounded doves. What are you going to do to care for them? If you are true to your faith,
you will step up to that task.
to the boys? The ones that were not held accountable, went on to throw many more stones, and kill many
more birds. The boy whose parent admonished his actions grew up into a thoughtfilled young man and one day, he travelled the
world in search of this bird. He never found her til the day he died, when Jesus greeted him at door to heaven and on His
shoulder, there was Penelope. He never went silent on her, nor blamed her for the attack and finally, she
was in heaven. The scar on her wing was gone. Amazing Grace.