Being thrown against a wall
Being pulled down the stairs by my hair, struggling to stay on my feet
Hands on either side of my face, slamming the back of my head repeatedly into a wall
Being pulled out of bed by my hair
Backhanded across the face
Punched in the face, the stomach, the chest
Thrown to the ground, kicks coming from every direction, to my stomach, arms, legs, face, back
My face being shoved into my own vomit before being forced to clean it up
Thrown out the door in the middle of a blizzard, wearing only jeans and a t-shirt, the door locked behind me
The "peacemaker" paddle causing welts and bruises and torn flesh
God is Always With Us - a Constant Comfort...
I grew up going to Church somewhat regularly. And I remember always being taught as a child that God is always with us. God will comfort us. God loves us.
Of course, my parents also told me they love me. They would always be there for me.
In the mind of a child, this was a quite easy equation. Parents = evil. Parents' words = God's Words. Therefore, God = evil.
Where Was God?
If God is always with us, where was He during the events noted above? Where is He while millions of children are abused and broken by those who are supposed to care for them? Either...
God is indeed just evil
God is testing us
God is indifferent to our suffering
God is punishing us
God is concerned with preparing our Eternal Home, and until then is simply letting our lives play out
As I've gotten older, and struggled with the why's and where's of God, I've come to realize God is good. So, the last option is the only one that really work.
But, it's more than God just letting our lives play out...
Where Should God Have Been?
God should have been in the heart of the pastor I turned to for help as a child - the one whom, instead of helping get us out of the home, told us to respect our parents.
God should have been in the hearts of the neighbors who heard the screams of a child. He should have been in the hearts of the teachers who saw the bruises, and "child protective services" who simply sent a therapist into the home.
God should have been in the hearts of the counselors who were faced with a sobbing, unloved child; and with the friends who were turned to in the middle of the night.
God Should Be in All of Us!
This doesn't just apply to abused children - it applies to everything and everyone. When someone is crying, we should be God's shoulder. When someone is in need of God's embrace, we should be His arms.
It's easy to turn someone away - we're too busy, too tired, too something. But that is not what God wants from us.
We're here to be like Christ.
We're here to be the comfort and strength someone hurting needs.
We're here to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love the unloved, and build up the torn down.
We are here for God's presence and comfort to be visible to all.