A memory of my youth came back to me recently. I was a shy child who just wanted to fit in. I ran with the wild ones, listened to the smart ones, wore my pants like the popular ones, and smiled at the nice ones. I had a small tribe, and we all followed suit.
Out in the shadow of a tree, a friend sat with me just talking silly girl talk. We were most likely giggling over a recent episode of a popular cartoon or longing for those new shoes that Miss Popular was wearing.
As quiet over took us for a moment, she took a deep breathe and told me a secret. A soft voice filled my ears and a shocked twinkling consumed me into silence. The moment was over and I tried to digest the private matter faster than it was whispered to me. It never processed and I forced it out of memory.
Abuse. How could a small child endure and hide and then admit it to someone who is also a child? What does one do? Desperation drove her to the divulgence of truth upon ears that were too scared to get help.
Hand over mouth, I hid it away. Then there was another….
Abuse. A teenager who was constantly fighting and arguing and wanting to be the bully, broke down on a quiet walk home from school. We bonded in that moment and then never spoke of it again. Maybe it was a release for him, but maybe he was searching for something inside of me. My own broken attitude was of no help and I let down another.
What does a child do? I did nothing. Shock and awe hit me to the point of forgetfulness. And now decades later, it’s too late. I cannot hold their hands or call them up. I am just as forgotten as their burdens were to me. Now I pray.
Colossians 3:13 ESV
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
I could selfishly pray that they forgive me for standing still. Maybe I do. But more importantly, I pray that they have found a way out from under the hands of their abusers and sought the Lord in the process. I pray that God has been invited to walk with them in their circumstances and they have placed Him as the King of their hearts.
As I dive into remembrance and seek a way to pray for those who are lost to the burdens of abuse, I challenge us all to reach out to those we see that are in need. Remembering not to overstep and to be cautious along the way, take the first step in prayer and then move according to the will of the Lord. Don’t brush hurts under the rug of repression. We are called to reach out to the broken and the weary.
As the Lord heals us in all things, we need to be there to encourage the healing power of the Gospel to others through our presence and love.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
And please know, you are not alone. Our brokenness as a people runs deep. We all carry our burdens despite their heaviness. Be open to transparency so that you can pay the compassion of the cross forward so that hope can follow.Be open to transparency so that you can pay the compassion of the cross forward so that hope can follow. Click To Tweet
Find all posts from the series 31 Days of Biblical Truths here.