Five-year-old Beth was enjoying her chocolate. Most of the chocolate ended on her face and her hands. Her mother did not mind since she will give her a bath as soon as she finished eating. After all, as my mother always says: “A spotlessly clean child is an unhappy child.”
“Hello everyone?” Beth’s grandma appeared through the garage door in a beautiful white designer suit. as soon as Beth saw her, she barged towards her grandma elated to see her. With her messy hands and mouth, Beth ran towards her grandma, The grandma had two choices as Beth ran towards her: either to push Beth away to protect her white suit, or to open her arms and hug Beth back. The grandma chose to open her arms wide hugging and kissing Beth. Beth hugged her grandma totally ruining her white suit but grandma didn’t care.
Survivors of sexual abuse need that kind of grace, this kind of feeling accepted and welcomed. They need our open arms.
As we minister to survivors of sexual abuse, we need to bring with us the Shalom of God. Shalom is not just a word for saying hello, it is the process of bringing a person towards wholeness.
The root word for Shalom, as we read it in the Old Testament means completeness, wholeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, rest and harmony.
As we minister to survivors at Not Guilty, we pray for powerful peace for them, the Shalom of God to work in the most intricate places of the survivor’s being.
We expect God to manifest and heal.
This is what our God can and will do.
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