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Sarah…

A girl called Sarah walks up to me after I’ve been speaking at her church. There’s tears in her eyes, but she looks angry rather than moved. She begins to tell me her story… a story of how she would often look out of her bedroom window… the window that overlooked the church we were standing in.  And then she told me of how she was abused by her step-dad in that bedroom. And she told me of the time, on a christmas day her step-father closed the bedroom door and she looked out toward the church…

And I am waiting for the question i have no answer to “how can you tell me there is a god who loves me when this happened?”

But the question doesnt come. instead she begins to tell me how she found a father who was perfect… who would take care of her… who loved her and cherished her.

But the story doesnt end there…

The story rarely ends there.

When we entrust ourselves into God’s hands he entrusts us to his people- the church.

The church, as a community, have to accept not just the Sarah who walks through the door or they find playing in the street, but everything that she brings with her… the pain… hurt, the brokeness… the memories and all the patterns and coping mechanisms she has learned just to survive.

I know the world is not full of Sarahs. I know the church is not full of stories as desperate as Sarah’s, but our response should always be the same…

love, acceptance, forgiveness…with the hope of restoration.

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