We’ve spent the last three week in the H.E.R. series, where we’ve looked at the ways we treat and think about women in our world. It is very important to us that Pulpit Rock Church be a safe place for people to tell their stories. Here is one of those stories.
My daughter started at a new school this year and has had a rough go of it. She had a group of three girls constantly mock her clothes, body shame her and make fun of her hairstyles. They have made up lies about her, blamed her for stealing money that they stole and passed rumors that were untrue.
BUT…then one of them apologized and decided she didn’t want to be a part of that group any more.
That girl has become a great friend to my daughter. She has a really rough life at home. Her dad died a few years back and her mom has been in and out of jail due to abusing and neglecting her kids. She is constantly left on her own and has not had a home cooked meal by an adult in the last year. She has told my daughter she is terrified of her mom when her mom has been drinking and hides from her. She has no one to encourage her to go to school or go to bed. She has no one tell her what is important or care where she goes.
SO…when my daughter asked if we can pick her up for church, I, of course, said yes. I told my daughter she can come over for dinner whenever she wants. I told my daughter that we care if she makes it to school and that we can pick her up every morning and make sure she gets breakfast.
That’s great, right? I would love to help bring a troubled kid closer to Jesus! To show her love in a way she doesn’t normally see. To show her that adults care and want what’s best for her. To show her that she is great because of what Jesus has done for HER!
BUT…what would I say if my daughter wanted to invite HIM (that boy) to church?
That boy – you know, the 5th grade boy who sexually assaulted her last November at her new school. The one that has caused her to stop sleeping at night, was the leading reason why she stopped eating for a while and why she started having nighttime accidents again? The one kid who forever altered how she will see her sexuality and the safety of intimate touch. The one boy who caused her to fear school and no longer enjoy math class as she once did.
Would I pick him up for church, buy him a donut and hot chocolate and excitedly ask him what he thought of our 56 program afterwards?
NO. I. WOULD. NOT.
I justify my response because I love my daughter. I excuse my reaction because I am fiercely protective and don’t want my daughter to ever see him or talk to him again.
Shouldn’t I care about his salvation too? If I truly have a heart of Christ (as I strive for), shouldn’t I stay up at night longing for his soul to be secure with his Creator. Shouldn’t I cry at night thinking of the shame he must feel at everyone knowing his crimes and weaknesses now that they were exposed to our teachers, police officers and his parents.
My daughter has not asked to bring that boy to church, and I, honestly, do not expect her to. But, that fact isn’t stopping me from questioning my heart. I should want to show him Jesus’ love, grace and acceptance on a Sunday at Pulpit Rock Church, but, do I?
SO…why don’t I?
Author is anonymous and covets your prayers as her family struggles through this season.
Do you have your own story to tell? Email us.