Tonight, I should have been revising. But I found there was something more important to do.
I don’t know how much people on our side of the pond have heard about Sovereign Grace Ministries and the legal stuff going on over massive abuse and cover up allegations in recent months. I’ve read bits and pieces, because the name Sovereign Grace caught my eye: we use a lot of their worship music in churches I go to, and C.J. Mahaney is a fairly well known name in the evangelical circles I move in. So I’ve kept an eye.
Tonight, I read this post from Rachel Held Evans, offering words of support to the survivors of this abuse. She’s done a whole series on abuse in the church, and her blog is a good place to start for reading more on the issues as a whole. The blog post linked to this report by Boz Tchividjian “who has worked on cases related to child abuse for most of his career and the founder of G.R.A.C.E (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment)”, and having read through that, I turned to read the details of the allegations themselves, found here.
If you want to know about these stories, there’s plenty on the internet about it; the links above are a good start. But if you want to have a pleasant evening, I don’t recommend you read any of it. The details are horrific, really horrific. But tonight I felt I needed to read it, to hear the stories of those children, some from as young as two or three, who endured years of abuse and silencing in the places they should have felt safest, in their churches and schools. I needed to know their pain, to be another person who believes them, who knows that it’s not their fault.
I don’t know what my part is in preventing abuse of children in churches, I don’t know what I can do. I don’t know where my career will go, or which people I’ll meet in future, whose stories I’ll become part of and when I’ll be needed to stand up and speak for someone else. But I know I can’t ignore it, and I know I can’t be part of the Church staying silent.
The revision and the exam can all wait for tomorrow. Tonight, I need to weep with those who weep.