This week it became public news that a well-known pastor in Warsaw sexually abused someone in his congregation. When I found out about this, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions: shock, anger, grief, and fear. Any time someone physically or spiritually abuses another person, it causes deep hurt. But when it’s a pastor, the wounds seem to be so much worse. God’s justice demands that these kinds of actions cannot be ignored or excused.
Our hearts go out to the one who was abused and her family.
Our prayers go up for the congregation for the pain and disillusionment many are experiencing right now. We pray that in the upcoming days and weeks they lean fully on God for help and wisdom, in a time when it might be tempting to turn away from him.
Our love and concern extend to everyone in our county who has experienced abuse in the past. This week has undoubtedly brought fresh hurt. Rather than falling into cynicism or despair, we pray that you would experience fresh healing from God who loves you and that you would be able to share your story in a way that gives hope to others.
I am also praying for the pastor and his family. Just as God demands justice, his mercy also demands that we do not give into hatred or bitterness, but that we forgive one another, just as Jesus Christ forgave us.
If you or someone you know is suffering silently under sexual abuse, I want to encourage you to not remain in silence, but to file a report with Law Enforcement, and look to trusted friends, loved ones and support groups for help.
It is my personal prayer that through this difficult situation, in which the Enemy intends to cause cascading destruction, our big and loving God would pour out his light, truth, healing, and hope to our community… and to our churches.
Chaplain, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department