Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Does God Really Close His Eyes?

"Why has God closed His eyes to me?"  Alison wailed.  She screamed over the phone so loudly this same question over and over again that I had to pull the phone away from my ear a bit. 

This is the type of phone call I take on a weekly basis for Safe Families for Children.

Alison and her husband have been homeless.  They moved to Greenville looking for a new start.  Her husband got a job at the local chicken processing plant.  Not the most glamorous job - but a job - and a good place to work from what I have heard!  Alison and her husband have 5 children. 

Alison is beyond sad.  She is barely hanging on.  And she desperately, passionately loves her children!  And she said, "Giving them to a stranger would happen over my dead body!"  As I tried to explain the ministry of Safe Families, she completely shut down and couldn't believe there were good families out there who would love her children....and love HER!

You see...she doesn't know what love is.  Alison decided to describe to me her first 15 years of life.  As a only child to a drug addicted mother, she grew up watching her mother beat and raped...over and over again.  So when child welfare came in one day and saw what Alison was living in, they sent her to live with her grandmother.  Problem was...grandmother was addicted to drugs...and was often beaten and raped by drug dealers and gang members.  So, for the first 15 years of her life, this little child of God was exposed to countless episodes of seeing men brutally beating and raping women. 

So that is love, right?

It was no different when she finally became a young adult, became involved with a boy, and soon found that he would beat her for no good reason.  She became pregnant soon after that.

Alison had a son when she was 16.  They slept on the streets in Georgia.

No one offered to help.

No one came to her rescue.

No one seems to care.

What does a girl do next?  Of course, find another man - desperately searching for love.  Repeat the scenario above 3 times. 

At this point,  Alison was still homeless, but now with 3 little children, sleeping on the streets in Georgia.

Somewhere along the way, she met her current husband who does love her and does treat her right.  They both dedicated their lives to Jesus and started looking for a church home.  First church told them the church bus wouldn't pick them up until they were members and tithing regularly.  The second church told them after 6 months that they were not putting enough into the offering plate each week. 

They stopped trying to go to church.

My  heart broke for Alison.  I have never met her.  I have never seen her.  But she is my sister!  She is a child of God!  I apologized for the Church and how as Christians, we have failed her over and over again. 

Did you catch that Church?  Do you see how you have turned a blind eye to Alison and her family? 

Why?

I hear it over and over again..."She could get government aid," or, "She shouldn't have had sex when she was 16," and then, "She shouldn't keep having babies!"

My words to you...easy for you to say.

When you have walked in her shoes for even one day, get back to me. 

Why has the Church become so cynical and skeptical and un-compassionate?

When did the Church become so heartless?

Do you know YOU have an Alison living in your city right now? 

I am reading a book called Pursuing Justice.  Here is a quote from the book, "You can't rob Crazy Horse to pay Bishop Tutu and call is 'Social Justice'".  In other words....sometimes we miss what is right beneath our noses.

I love child sponsorship in South America and buying African beads to help widows in Uganda and wearing trendy t-shirts to fight human trafficking in Asia.  But...what about Alison in Greenville, SC?

Alison does not believe the Church loves.  Alison does not believe the Church serves.  Alison does not believe the Church forgives.  And because of that....she thinks God has closed His eyes to her.

In reality....WE have failed her...and disappointed God at the same time.


I spent the last 10 minutes with her praying...crying out to God to show Alison how much He loves her.  I think He is showing her how much He loves her by leading her to a ministry like Safe Families. I don't think Alison will place her children with Safe Families...she is in too much pain and does not believe God loves her.

Church...it's time to wake up!

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