A little eight year old girl shouldn’t have to sleep with a knife in her bed to fend off the rapist who lives in the family room next to her. When a pregnant twelve year old is forced to live in the same house as the uncle who abused her and made to live with the blame of causing the family’s crisis, the layers of dysfunction are sewn into a household’s DNA.
Multiply this pattern for several generations and it quickly becomes clear how the shroud of sin lies heavy and dark over the spirits of an entire culture. How can a fragile and damaged soul ever crawl out from under it and find an identity of worth and freedom. The cycle of shame turns like a whirlpool in a deep and quickening current that flows to what end?
Yet here we are wading into the waters, feeling our way with our little sticks trying to find the bottom while pushing against the flow and not to get swept under ourselves . I’m reminded of course of Jesus , who simply walked on top of the water, reaching down to pull us out. We are only sinners here , reaching in to save others thru the power of Him who saved us from the swell of our own spiritual storms. I think about the astonishing success of programs like Alcoholics Anonymous who’s virtue is simply one addict helping another to find a way out. They lean on each other. No judgement only compassion to share the serenity of freedom from bondage. That’s the gospel message in a nutshell. When Jesus chose to own our sin, He identified as one of us and the weight of it killed him. But thank God He had a plan. He didn’t stay dead. What we hope to accomplish then in The Nest, is a rescue mission set in the heart of the jungle. A flaming arrow of redemption of our own shot back onto enemy territory. A place where these broken souls can rest in safety and be nourished with love as they heal into a new identity. If even one can discover the courage to heal and experience a new peace, then our mission is a success. Just as we have received the blessing of others before us , the ripple of redemption will continue to grow producing a counter current to overwhelm the whirlpool of hurt and broken souls. But just as the process of healing in my own life as been slow and meticulous, the art of healing needs to be tender and cannot be rushed. The safety for these women can occur quickly as we bring them into the Nest, but the nurturing will require patience.
Wounds like theirs need to be opened to properly heal. Dead tissue disguised as lies and shame need to be cut away in order for new growth to flourish. The medicine of love and acceptance, born out of our own experience, strength, and hope in Christ generously applied to the sores and afflicted areas of their lives.
You know when the Bible says that “ for the Joy set before him, he endured the cross , scorning the shame, putting death itself to death” , I mean what an amazing thing He did! If He can do that, what can He not do? Nothing. There’s nothing He cannot do. The deep and dark waters of sexual abuse, which inflicts its damaged DNA on both the victim and the abuser is so intense that many well-intentioned people can’t help but to look away. I get it.
The psychological morass is awfully messy as it’s scars penetrate so many layers of the human experience. For someone who’s never survived the trauma of abuse, it’s difficult to comprehend just where to apply the medicine. But Jesus knows the heart of these little ones. He sees the root lies in as one of a spiritual nature, and He alone as the power to offer a spiritual cure to the spiritual hurt that afflicts everyone involved. Hurt people hurt other people. We all stumble around trying to survive our life. But once touched with the pierced hands of Christ we can move on from surviving to thriving. That’s the mission of the Nest, the ripple effect. Because once a little chick in her nest is ready and strong, she can fly.
Author: James Beach, Co-Founder