Over the past year there have been increasing stories of abuse and bullying in the evangelical church in the UK. It’s not confined to the more public cases in the CofE, but is also found in the independent church. The church is often described as a hospital, after all, Jesus came for those who are sick. But sadly we’re seeing people leaving local churches and denominations more damaged and broken than when they went in. Perhaps some reading know this all too well. That is not how it should be.
At times it can feel overwhelming. When we’ve finally broken free of an abusive relationship the sense of relief is palpable. It’s like emerging from a dank tunnel, sucking clean air deep into our lungs after almost suffocating. Sometimes you can be in those relationships for so long that you’ve forgotten that there is any other reality. Slowly but surely hope begins to be restored. You finally get to a small taste of that sweet ‘rest’ that seemed so elusive before.
But then in one of those moments of peace a thought comes to you. It whispers – ‘remember those who still suffer’.