A few years back when I was studying at Seminary, I had the unfortunate experience of being on the wrong side of a prank that (as far as I was concerned) went too far. I had been getting these anonymous text messages for several days, which at first were quite innocuous; only later I thought they were a little more pointed.
At one point, having previously ‘let them go through to the keeper,’ I responded. (I would later find it would’ve been better not to.) I’d had enough of them and decided to argue the point, and that was a mistake, because it just fed this person.
The more it went on, and the more upset I got, the more I felt vulnerable, because I simply didn’t know who this was. This person was close to me; they knew names of my family and seemed to know me very well i.e. in a detailed way. I even had a friend doing some counter espionage for me to try and work out the identity of this person. It was causing me a lot of stress.
At one point during a particular day when the messages become quite threatening--and with very intelligent use of language I’ll add--I entertained it was Satan himself who was the thorn in my side! I was so anxious I went and made a report to the Police; it was getting way out of hand.
Days later, I found out the identity of the person, and that at least one other trainee ‘pastor’ knew about it--it was a big joke, of course. I was both upset and relieved, but challenged by God to forgive, and even eventually laugh with them (figuratively speaking).
Only recently I read the author of a blog I occasionally read incensed about a certain anonymous commenter soliciting ‘bold’ comments without identifying themselves. This person has also commented on some of my blog posts--and I must say I’ve been intrigued as to who he or she was.
The point is, both of these instances have quite obviously left the person on the receiving end feeling victimised, even stalked. And these are in the so-called Christian world of ‘love your brother and sister as yourself.’
Perhaps the worst thing from my own personal experience of being stalked is you begin to doubt everyone in your midst, and trust is seriously tested. Because we don’t know the identity of the person we can begin to assume bad of everyone.
Being stalked is no fun. It takes the person feeling victimised in this way through a range of emotions, and they’re all negative, and all based in fear, which is something any proper Christian person is keenly aware of--to negate or avoid promoting it in others, and certainly from ourselves as the source.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.