Sometimes we think that it’s only big things that count
For the Kingdom.
Martyrs and missionaries.
Skill and sacrifice.

I have a friend.
At first glance she’s done nothing
out of the ordinary.
But… she went to church… again.

You may be like me
Thinking, “Big deal!
Everyone calling themselves Christian
should go to church.”

And Jesus draws in my dirt,
Quietly, calmly.
Humbling me in my lack of understanding.

And her story changes me
perhaps more than her.
You see, my friend was raised in church.
Loved God, truly.
Was a Sunday School teacher at 12.
Felt accepted as a rising worker for Christ.
Felt safe in the sanctuary of “God’s House”.

Until she was violated at age 15 by a traveling minister.
Young friend, became pregnant.
And was ostracized by church members.
Told she “asked for it”.
Told she was “a disgrace” by her family.

Brilliant girl, really.
Knew she wanted a different life.
Worked hard.
Finished high school at 15.
Started college after giving baby up for adoption.
Had her own apartment the same year 15.
Had to get away, get away from the voices.
The voices that told her she was dirty.
She had to get away from the church.

She married a man.
Who loved her, kindly.
Had two children of her own.
After years of healing hurts,
God was calling her to love what He loves.
But church is where she was violated.
Church is where she was betrayed.

But then…One warm, sunny Sunday
this Dear One walked through the parking lot.
Her stomach turning somersaults,
tying itself into pretzel knots.
Her hands filled with the fingers of her girls.
When she entered, would they make her feel not good enough?
Would they love her the way that she was?
Would they condemn her as harlot?

Would they hurt her children?
Judge and betray them?

I met her at the door
and embraced her.
She trembled a little.
Determined to trust again.
Determined to be loved again.
Determined to become vulnerable.

Every Sunday, she sits beside me,
This woman of great courage.
This woman who obeys His call
His voice.

Can you hear His voice?
Hurt ones?
Calling you to love what He loves?
His Church, His Body?
Calling you to trust as a child once again?

Can you hear His voice?
Churched ones?
Calling you to love who He loves?
The lost, the hurting?
Calling you to love and understand until it doesn’t hurt anymore?

Or will you waste time like I did
and continue to judge before listening?
Jump to conclusions without evidence?

And Jesus still draws in the dirt.
Quietly, calmly.

Linking with dear Jen

and lovely Michelle

and the friend who oozes creativity, Emily

  1. […] have a friend. At first glance she’s done nothing out of the ordinary. But… Please come visit my new blog What In The World R U Doing 4 Christ’s Sake? to read the rest of… GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  2. Steve Austin says:

    Thanks for a beautiful challenge. It is tough for me to give the Church a second chance, too. Nothing hurts like a church hurt, but God’s grace is sufficient. Thanks again for this.

  3. della farris says:

    Wonderful example of obedience . Stirred my heart.

  4. Jen says:

    May I always remember to draw in the dirt first, leaving my judgment in the sand…

  5. Brooke Stark says:

    Beautiful testimony. And you shared it with us in such a perfect way. Thank you, Kim.

  6. Joan says:

    I simply love this. Thank you for sharing such an encouraging story.

  7. John Erickson says:

    Wonderful story, very well written. I saw some people close to me hurt by their church. It’s hard, but we have to remember that their church isn’t THE church – that other houses and congregations aren’t the same ones that caused the hurt. And that one church’s “loss of love” does not mean God has turned His back.

  8. brian miller says:

    wow. whata powerful story in her going back to church…ugh on religeous leaders violating such a trust…makes me angry but i am thankful for her story and what he is continuing to write in her…

  9. Coming East says:

    When people ask if I’m a Christian, I say I love and follow Christ with all my heart. It’s hard for me to use the term “Christian” because of how it’s been sullied by people who profess to love and serve Him. This was a beautiful story. This young girl had nothing to be ashamed of. It was the actions of so many of those “Christians” that were shameful.

  10. He draws in the dirt, perhaps because there is no rush — life is about our journey — as you told so well through your your friend’s story.

    • kd sullivan says:

      That’s an interesting perspective! “Is this what makes us rush around, never with enough time, because we’ve set before ourselves a golden calf instead of God?” Ann Voskamp

  11. oh friend… this hurts me, and it heals me, and it helps us all to fall on our knees. how we need the one who draws in the sand…

  12. this brought tears to my eyes. thanks for sharing this lovely post.

  13. Guineveresj says:

    You amaze me. This woman amazes me. The Courage Giver amazes me. I sit, tearful, awestruck and amazed. Thanks as always dear one…

  14. Thanks once again for a moving post, Kim.

  15. wolfsrosebud says:

    Praising God for His healing and using a friend like you…

  16. Wow. I don’t even know what to say. It’s grace. Just grace and love raining down, spilling over, healing hearts one gentle touch at a time. Wow. Thank you for reaching in and touching my heart soul deep today.

    • kd sullivan says:

      I’m so glad to meet you, virtually… ;D… and I can’t wait to visit your place again, and again! This piece broke my heart as well, because I had done much judging…

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