If someone is raped or experiences a personal violation as a child or adult they are often mentally scarred for life. The heinous event can replay itself in their mind, sometimes even on a daily basis. It can affect their ability to work, sleep and live what we might consider to be a normal life.

If we know someone who has been violated in this manner we need to love them in a tender caring way. It is impossible for us to know the full effect that past experience is having on the person’s life.

Let the professionals provide all the advice they need. Our role should be purely as a friend who is there for them when needed. One who can offer unconditional love and accept their brokenness even though their anger outlet may well be directed at times towards us as their friend.

Without even being at fault, some victims can be so ashamed of what has occurred in their life that they can never bring themselves to reveal their dark secret. Others can take many years before they are ready to allow the event to surface. They have lived with a dark cloud hanging over their heart and their mind and it is hard for friends and family to understand the difficulties they undergo during this closed period of their life.

While Jesus was able to ask His father to forgive his persecutors before He died, the pain and suffering some victims continue to endure throughout their lives may well take a lifetime before forgiveness towards a perpetrator is even considered. We must accept this.

While this may not fit with our moral understanding, it is not our role to judge, for until we walk in our friend’s shoes, we will never understand the depth of the mental anguish they are going through.

In being a friend to such a person we need to show them empathy and unconditional love.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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