It was over four years ago. I was in the throes of writing a book about Girlfriends while working as the director of a non-profit organization that advocates for abused children.
Our organization was asked to advocate for child who had just entered foster care. As I read the case file my knees almost buckled. I’d never heard of such horror. I was stunned, and trust me after five years advocating for abused children it took a lot to stun me.
As I read through the case file I was struck by the length of time the abuse had gone on – years upon years. And one thought kept going through my mind – did no one notice? Did no one see?
Bound by confidentiality laws I couldn’t speak of the child’s situation, I worked alongside my volunteers to advocate for the child’s safety and well being. But my heart was breaking – how did they miss this? how did we miss this?
And that’s when the question hit me:
Where’s the church?
I looked around and found….
Over 500,000 child in foster care – where’s the church?
Over 1,000,000 women and men suffer from domestic violence abuse – where’s the church?
Over 2000 children died last year from abuse or neglect (and experts declare this figure to be much higher)
Approximately 2000 women and men were murdered by their spouse or partner
Drug abuse is at an all time high
Homelessness is rampant across America
People are going hungry and cold in our communities
And so much more and I wondered….
Where’s the church?
For years this question has rumbled in my spirit. I think of it when I see multi million buildings going up in the name of the Lord. I think of it when I drive through the parts of town where you double check to make sure your doors are locked. I think of it when I read about another battered woman or another abused child.
It’s a hard question and one that I’m not completely comfortable asking. I’m not comfortable asking it because I don’t want to offend people. I’m not comfortable asking because I know I’m a part of the problem. I love the church, but we need a wake-up call.
Child are falling through the cracks in the system. Homeless men and women are struggling to survive on the streets. Battered women are dying at the hands of their husbands. Drugs are destroying whole communities.
It’s a hard question, but one that needs to be asked.
Where’s the Church?
It’s a question that I’m asking and I’ll keep asking. After years of trying to look the other way, I’m finally agreeing with God and putting my hand to this work. This is the basis for my next manuscript and one that is taking shape in my heart and on the page. And I want to hear your voices.
Help me hold up the mirror. Let’s take a long, hard look at what is happening in my church and in yours. Let’s brainstorm ways to make it different.
Let’s answer the question
Where’s the Church? with a resounding
We are here.
I hope you’ll join me.