And what about that most egregious of failures, the abuse of a child? Some in our St. Paul's community are survivors of childhood abuse - whether sexual, emotional or physical. Those who should have been loving us best, treated us worst. In the US, 30% of all males have been molested, and 40% of all females.
The church has a role to play in the healing so many of us need. First, we must be a safe place to talk, grieve, and model safe and healthy care for one another. We model that care by training our church workers to safeguard our children from potential abuse. We create safe space by offering a welcome environment and a supportive environment without shame or judgement. Perhaps most importantly, we re-claim that love never fails.
By this, I mean, that love itself does not fail. Humans do. Love untainted by our sin is powerful and restorative. That love is God's. Even though God seems absent during trauma and abuse, Love is constantly working to heal, mend, and restore that which was broken - us.
In Jesus, we see the power of love to take what was sick, and make it well; what was wounded, and restore. May we be a community that walks in the power of love. And may we bravely enter the conversations about our own, and others' trauma, believing that love heals.