Will anyone reach out to the broken?

ImageWhy does it appear on the whole there is so little desire to truly address the brokenness in this world? Is the world of today similar to that of Isaiah’s time when the people begged him to “tell them lies, stories, and illusions” Isa. 30:9-11 to avoid the pain of brokenness? 

Universally, every human being is broken in sin and dependent on God for redemption. It is the degrees of brokenness and the approach to healing where I struggle. Broken people of differing degrees sit in churches every Sunday across the country.  Most of the brokenness results from broken relationships.  Most of the brokenness is kept silent from week to week and goes unnoticed. Since it is silent, a perception exists there are no problems.  Makes it much easier to ignore.  Life is not much different outside the church buildings.    

Brokenness is about shame.  The brokennest of the broken are not going to stroll to the institutional church on Sunday.  The broken ones that do manage to make it are yearning for healing from the brokenness.  Is the society and the Institutional church equipped to care for the broken in its midst?  Further, is there a desire? 

In the brokenness of Sexual Abuse silence is the absolute.  Ignoring is the method of choice for healing.  This brokenness is as prevalent inside the institutional church as out. Across the society, very few reach out to the wounded.   Look for a graduate school counseling program across the country and you will rarely if ever find a single course in any Masters Degree Counseling program that addresses the prevalence, the consequences, and the methods of healing.  They don’t exist.  In the Institutional churches around the world, do you know of any that have a specific healing program for the sexually broken in their structure?  Have you heard of any sexual abuse healing programs through public agencies, community service?  Are you aware of intervention programs?  There are myriads of recovery programs for every ill and foible known, but do you know of any for sexual abuse?  

Sexual abuse is the core diagnosis for much of the brokenness in this world.  The brokenness doesn’t just affect the survivor.  The numbers are multiplied by the perpetrator, the family, and the community.  Violence, substance abuse, pornography, broken families, depression, and suicide most of the time can be traced to a history of childhood sexual abuse.  

This is the enemy’s greatest weapon.  The shame generated by perpetrated sexual harm.  It’s right there in Genesis 3; “But the Lord called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”  He said, “Who told you that you were naked?” 

Brokenness is the fear of being exposed.  It is present in every human being, in every community, and in every institution.  Shame and silence are the most powerful tools of the enemy.  So, how can the society, including the institutional church do what is expected, “care for the broken, bind up the wounded, provide for widows and orphans when all appear unwilling to even acknowledge the prevalence? 

Courage.  Courage to admit we are standing naked before God and our fellow brothers and sisters.  Courage to speak out.  Courage to reach out where the broken are.  Courage requires trust and vulnerability.  Broken trust initiated shame and allows it to continue; vulnerability to reach out for help where healing begins.  The courage to walk with another broken soul for life.  A daunting task to be sure.  Ignoring and hiding is not the answer.  Ask Adam and Eve.

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About Bill Harbeck

Founder and Director of Holding on to Hope Ministries. A non-profit work that helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse unveil their past and begin the healing process. Author of the book Shattered; One Man's Journey from Childhood Sexual Abuse
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