Victims of sexual abuse? They are everywhere. How can this be? Why does this disgusting crime continue to escalate in our society and why doesn't God do something about it?
God's plan is for every child to be guarded and protected. His plan to protect children from sexual abuse is the same plan He uses to stop kids drowning in swimming pools, or burning their hand on the stove.
Yes! It is parents. God's plan is that every child be guarded by a family, and that unit is responsible for the safety, protection and training of each little person that is born.
But our children aren't born into a perfect world. Parents fail! And kids suffer, often times at the hands of their own parents. Other times they are left defenceless at the hands of others because, in the darkness, mums and dads don't see the danger.
Darkness! A lack of light! Although this disgusting crime usually takes place under the cover of night, the real camouflage is self-gratification, denial, lies, greed, selfishness. Lets name it for it really is. Evil. Sin.
The same motivators which drive the perpetrator, also hide the evidence from the child's protectors. Denial and ignorance prevent the recognition of signs of abuse. Selfishness and the desire to 'not upset the apple cart' can cause the carer to turn a blind eye. Exposing the sin and bringing it to the light has catastrophic effects. Relationships are lost, loved ones go into the hands of the police. Their security, both, financial and relational are under threat. Sub-consciously a decision is made to pretend it isn't happening and then a child is sentenced to a life of torment.
This decision is often justified by the carers own childhood experiences. 'Well, I survived, so he/she will just have to suck it up and live with it for the sake of the rest of the family'.
The sin, by its very nature, is hidden. It is shrouded by silence. Although, in his own mind,he has justified his actions as being harmless, the perpetrator never speaks of it and he silences his victim. 'This is our special secret! If you ever speak of this it will kill Mrs P'... or 'I will kill you.'
So where is God in this mess?
His heart is so broken, He sent Jesus. Yes, Jesus carried the pain of the victim on the cross. Bloodied, broken, exposed, he hung in public view. We know the soldiers mocked Him and made fun of Him. I'm sure, in that sin-filled, dark, evil environment, He would have been sexually abused amongst everything else He suffered.
God made man with a free will. He will never violate that. So, unable to stop abuse, pain and sin, He instead gave His Son so we can be healed. Whilst hanging on the cross, He illustrated the way to wholeness. 'Father, forgive them. They don't know what they are doing?'
He showed us that it is possible to forgive the unforgivable.
He also is ready to forgive, heal and restore parents who have been negligent. And He is waiting to forgive the perpetrator, remove the veil from his eyes and restore his seared conscience.
I hate sexual abuse! It is a vile, disgusting, painful blot on our society, but God is bigger. He can restore, heal, renew and make whole. In the meantime, His body, the church is called to wrap His arms around every hurting victim and pour the balm of His unconditional love over every hurting soul.