As I look at the pictures, it is clear that her tear-coated words are inadequate to capture the event. Police officers arrive an hour or so after the little ones have been put to bed to calm a domestic dispute - it is not the first time flashing lights have appeared in the driveway of the residence. A few hours later he makes his bed on the sofa in the living room; she retreats to cower behind a locked bedroom door; and the children are mercifully unaware of the storm festering down the hall . . . until the chaos erupts around 2:00am. The bedroom door is kicked in; the mother's screams are quickly dampened as her husband straddles her body and applies the duct tape; the beating begins; blood splatters quickly pock the bedclothes, floors and walls; a terrified child flees to a neighbor's house pleading for help; in moments policemen arrive again; he is taken to jail; she is taken to a hospital; and pajama-clad friends take the children. In the early morning a bond is posted; CODA becomes involved; the family is separated; the legal wrangling begins; and the trauma victimizes all but one.
She sits before me looking for answers to questions she can only articulate with her sad and swollen eyes and with a trembling voice begins to pour out the litany of heartaches, addictions, abusive relationships and desperate situations that comprise the tragic chapters of her life. She has come because well-meaning friends gave assurances after her previous beating that Jesus would take all of her troubles away if she would just turn to Him - she did and He didn't and now her feelings of unworthiness and hopelessness have been amplified . . . she has no one else to turn to . . . the Man, seemingly like all the other men in her life, has betrayed her. I try to explain that Jesus made no such promises but quickly discern the time is not right to unveil the cruel deception thrust upon her by others . . . that must wait for a less emotional encounter; now is a time for listening, hand holding and praying.
After a parting hug, she disappears into the world from which she came. Hopefully our paths will cross again but right now I need to take a long walk . . . I have much to ponder!
In His Power and for His Glory,