As the Weinstein scandal began to break, my heart broke with it. Woman after woman stepped forward to testify of sexual assault. A flashpoint case, stories began to crawl out of the dark corners of high towers of power. Then I heard about the federal case against a predatory Austin man who flew to Florida for “a relationship” with a nine year old. My emotions ranged from anger to grief to despair.
Sex must have boundaries. Purity matters. These are human lives we are dealing with.
As a pastor, I hear stories of sexual assault and abuse of both men and women all too often. As a father, I have experienced the gut-wrenching pain of hearing the news my own child has been affected. How should we respond?
- For those who have suffered abuse or assault, I am praying for you to know the comfort and healing power of Christ. He knows your pain and laments with you.
- As our Neighborhood Churches gather this Sunday, we will have qualified women ready to pray and counsel you on the spot. If you are unable to attend and would like to talk with someone, please let us know.
- If you want to process your pain more, but alone, I recommend these resources and the books The Wounded Heart or Rid of My Disgrace.
- For parents of young children, begin having conversations about these dangers with your children. If you need guidance, read this blog post and consider using God Made All of Me with your children.
- If you are wondering how to respond to boys in particular, this post is very well done.
As the media spills stories of women assaulted and manipulated by a man from a place of power, reprehensible action must be met with righteous account. But I am also reminded of another man who possessed great power but used it to become a pure victim on our behalf.
All of us suffer in all kinds of ways, and some of us are in fact victims. As anger and despair flare up in our hearts; however, we must remember none of us are entirely innocent in the whole of life. All of us need the self-sacrificing love of the one Man who always used his power righteously–to serve, redeem, and beautify broken humanity.
If you are a victim, Christ wants you to release any shame to him in exchange for his dignifying, beautifying love. That can be very difficult to do, and often is something that isn’t done just once but over and over as memories resurface. But know the Savior wants to remove your shame. And to all, he extends the hope of forgiveness, reconciliation, and comfort. And when he returns he will judge and banish all evil.