I’d like to think that we are all learning, every day, if we will allow ourselves, on this path called Life. And, surely, I do not know everything. Did you hear that? Go back and read that one, again, please: I do not know everything. I’d also like to think that in my zest for learning and understanding, that I am also humble enough to admit where I have been enlightened by new information that may affect my overall perspective. This is something that I try to give to others and I appreciate when they give it to me. It is also the reason that I choose to live my life as transparent as possible. So, kids, what you see is what you get!
Last November, I wrote a post about what is called the “bubble” of thinking that exists at Prairie Bible College and its president, Mark Maxwell. I highlighted the aspects of hypocrisy that seemed very evident to me, especially as it related to the use of verbiage by Mark Maxwell. At the time, fueled by other perspectives, the context of the verbiage seemed to support a thought that Prairie viewed themselves as better than the rest of the world and here they are allowed to use naughty words, but the rest of us are damned if we do. The irony, truth be told, is that I do not really have that big of an issue with the verbiage… Probably that financial background experience kicking in here.
Well, I have had the privilege of sitting back and taking in information since I wrote that article and have really put that quality of viewing things through other people’s eyes into practice. Just when I thought I may be an expert in understanding different perspectives, I was reminded that when you think you have arrived, you probably are pretty far from the destination and should take a wee peek around yourself to get your bearings straight. You may find that they are not all that straight, after all!
I have seen Prairie, the school, as well as alumni, and the president, himself, take steps toward helping the victims. These are the victims reporting alleged abuse occurring at the college over the past 40 or so years. Are we here to judge how effective or how qualified these steps are? I don’t think so. Please, people, I don’t want your scrutiny on me, so let’s not do it to others, ok? I have been very appreciative of that gift and their offer to help. It is an example of people from the “accused school” reaching out to the accusers with such love, that it melted me, yes me, the one who is considered “too soft” already! Are the victims in pain? Absolutely! But, there is a group of people willing to get their hands dirty to help in any way they can, be it like a 5 year old child’s drawing or a Michelangelo painting. The heart is what I hear. It is that heart that warms me and comforts me.
I met Mark Maxwell over Skype this afternoon, and, I have to say, I met a man who is real. I heard a man talk about coming into the college that his grandfather, L.E. Maxwell co-founded, and say that there was an authoritarian approach to not only how the college ran, but the homes of the staff and students as well. I heard him say that this authoritarian approach is what created a ground that may result in some of the stories that we have been hearing from the alleged victims. The background of Prairie, including this “authoritarian rule” is part of the bubble that I referenced in my earlier blog post. There is so much more to the concept of the bubble, but it really isn’t the point of this post. Most importantly, I heard the heart of a man who went into the college not just to change it to be a functional educational facility, but you know what? … To “Pop The Bubble!”
So, while we are listing the woes of Prairie Bible College, and more specifically the deplorable acts that may have happened in the homes of some of the people that attended or worked at Prairie Bible College, this man is graciously listening to the cries and pain of the victims. He is taking it to heart and crying with them. He is making changes, significant changes, that will mold the college into a college that is *not* conducive to that type of behavior. No longer will the ground at Prairie be fertile for the perps! He doesn’t believe in the bubble and he is taking steps to pop it!
The answer to the question of who actually popped the bubble at Prairie Bible Institute, has less to do with the person, as I believe it is a team effort, but, it is my opinion that Mark Maxwell had a hand in it, and for that, I thank him for taking the hard step in moving the college to a better place and showing us all how grace and love speak louder than hate and venom.