I found out last night that someone I knew in college, someone who was in my same pastor circles about 5 years ago, confessed to sexually abusing his 9 year old adopted daughter. He’s sitting in jail as I type, and I don’t even want to think about what his wife and kids are going through.

Something sits now in my abdomen. Their aren’t quite words for it. I think of this girl, going through God knows what in another country before she’s adopted, world and culture wrenched as she adjusts to the hope of a new life with a family that loves her. And then this…

I can’t get there. I break before getting close, and I grieve even more that she didn’t have the choice of NOT going there. Betrayal, anguish, bile, violation, fear, loss, bitterness, unjustified self-loathing. Our world hurts, and we hurt each other, and we heap sin upon sin in secret.

I must believe that Jesus feels with her. I must cling to, trust, place a death grip on the hope that when God chose to inhabit frail humanity, identify with suffering, and die, die, physically suffer and die…I must trust that that was more than simply a hoop to jump through so that we get a “get out of jail free” card. I must trust the full weight of my existence in a grasp on the lifeline that Jesus identifies with us in our suffering and has transformed it.

I serve a God who I believe loved us enough to join our suffering and redeem it. I believe God is still choosing to suffer with this little girl and the ripple effects of horrific, violating sin that will go out and touch many.

But there’s still something I can’t name in my stomach.

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