CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter…
I became a child therapist by accident. I was pastoring in a small town. Like children everywhere, children there had problems. People knew I liked kids. Small towns don’t have professional therapists. I was free.
We mostly told stories, those children and I. They told me stories, and I told them stories, and we told stories together.
It wasn’t just children from my own congregation. Word spread. Soon I had kids from third through tenth grade sitting in my living room, where there were big windows onto the street, and where my wife sat in her study off the living room, with the door open.
That is not an ideal counseling setting, where people walking by can see, and where a school teacher-at a school in a town twenty miles away, to be sure, but still a teacher-can hear. Counseling works best in privacy, where the counselee is free to say anything. In these days, though, we are aware that child abuse is real, and transparency is necessary in working with children, to protect the children, and to protect the counselor.
We have more transparency these days than formerly, at least in the contacts children have with teachers and priests and coaches. Most child abuse, though, is done by family members, and transparency there is much harder to come by.
I heard a pastor tell this story: He was teaching the youngsters in his church about communion and said, “When you take the communion, Christ is in you.” One girl questioned him very carefully about it. “Do you mean Christ is in every cell?” He assured her that was true. Every time they had communion, she asked him, “Every cell?” He assured her it was so.
It was learned later that her father was sexually abusing her. That was why it was so important to her that Christ be in every cell, every part of her body.
All of us suffer abuse in this world, one way or another. The promise is that Christ comes to us and inhabits every cell, not only of body, but of spirit.
I tweet occasionally as yooper1721.