“In the beginning was the Word…In Him was life and that life was the light of all humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1&3-5)
Christmas lights, Advent candles, Christingles; this time of year is full of churches singing and talking about light. “Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”. Perpetrators of domestic abuse seek to keep those of us around the individual being abused in the dark. Abuse can only occur in the dark, in the secret. But is that really true?
Some members of our Survivors' Network might think differently. You see, some women have disclosed the abuse they faced to their church, bringing it into the light, only to be disbelieved or even discredited. On average, it will take 35 incidents of abuse before a victim/survivor tells someone what about what's happening. It’s not an easy decision, and yet within the faith community, we still often choose not to see the truth. We choose to keep domestic abuse in the dark.
One member of the Survivor’s Network describes finding Restored as like finding light at the end of a very dark tunnel. How can you and your gathered community of believers choose to be that light for someone else who might be trapped in darkness?
Just imagine Joseph receiving the news from Mary about her pregnancy. He could so easily not have believed her, discrediting her by divorce. But he chose to support her in her call from God and stay by her side. The light of God was born through Mary, enabled by Joseph's willingness to believe her story.
So, how could you choose to recognise the light this Advent season? How could you shine into someone's darkness? One member of the Survivor’s Network describes finding Restored as like finding light at the end of a very dark tunnel. How can you and your gathered community of believers choose to be that light for someone else who might be trapped in darkness?
You might like to put the toilet door poster up in your church building, or perhaps you’d like to provide some Christmas treats for your local domestic abuse provider. You could add a message in to one of you Advent services, indicating that you’re a church who won’t disbelieve or discredit disclosures of abuse. You might even like to start the journey to becoming a Restored Beacon, bringing light into the darkness alongside a network of other churches.
This Christmas, light a beacon of hope for survivors
You can ensure more churches are equipped to respond to domestic abuse and support survivors, bringing light into the darkness.Light a beacon of hope