This summer I got to participate in a lot of ministry. But if I only ‘did’ ministry and didn’t listen and learn, then I would be doing it wrong. In this series, ‘Summer School’ I present some of the lessons God taught me.
Summer School Lesson 3: What About When He Hit You?
One of the things I got to do this summer was travel with a group of high school students on a mission trip to New Orleans. While there, my team spent our afternoons at an inner city church that provided care for 80 or so neighborhood children. This is a conversation I had with one of them. I wrote it down that night because I wanted to remember it.
New Orleans Girl: You got kids?
Me: Yes! I have three.
N.O. Girl: Where they at?
Me: In Texas with their daddy.
N.O. Girl: They not live with you.
Me: Yes, but I am here this week, so their daddy is home with them.
N.O. Girl: How long were you with him?
Me: What do you mean?
N.O. Girl: Like, how long you in a relationship with him?
Me: We’re still married.
N.O. Girl: You married to him!? How long?
Me: Twelve years.
N.O. Girl: That long?! Don’t you fight?
Me: Sometimes, but we are in love and we promised God that we would be good to each other and love each other, so we never fight for long.
N.O. Girl: What about when he hit you?
Me: He never hit me. He would never do that.
N.O. Girl: Never?
Me: No. He’s a good husband.
N.O. Girl: I want a good husband.
Me: I want you to have one, too.
Even weeks later, I don’t have much to say about this encounter because it sort of speaks for itself. Also weeks later, it still makes me want to cry. I guess the biggest lesson for me was this: our entire world is corrupted and fallen, and this is not our home. My tidy little life is not really different than hers; it is just more tidy. This little girl’s worldview was that men hit, and men don’t stay. And yet she still longed for something different. This isn’t her home, either. From 1 Peter: Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. [Emphasis mine]. Sometimes I fall deep into the belief that this is just the way things are; it isn’t that bad; I can’t change it. This encounter reminds me not to try and save the world, but to do God’s work to save those in it.