Blog

Christmas And The Suffering Servant: Hope For Abuse Survivors
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 by By Sarah

avoiding…

For months, I avoided the book. Written by one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match tells the story of a female prosecutor who learns that someone has sexually abused her son. I have spent over a year writing a novel that deals with this same subject and I’ve become more vocal about my healing from abuse, even so, I ignored the book.

Then, I started reading. As a result, the last couple of nights I’ve awakened from nightmares, nightmares I thought had disappeared. I considered not finishing the novel, but today’s devotion gave me something else to consider.

the suffering servant…

Growing up in the church, the term Suffering Servant has grown cliché for me. Most of the time, I read the words with no thoughts or feelings except to prepare my mental to-do list. But not this time.

suffering…

The word brings images to my mind, the child from the book and his suffering, my suffering, and all the children who suffer in silence. Many do not have words to explain what has happened. Many are too scared. All are disfigured and marred by undeserved abuse.

a mess…

At Christmas, we see a clean baby surrounded by his adoring public. For many of us with painful pasts, this picture can be too much, too perfect, too sterile. Our childhoods never looked like that. But I don’t think the commercialized picture or the church picture is the entire story or even an accurate one. Jesus’ story is messy, like many of ours.

no hope…

God sent a perfect, innocent baby to Earth. But the whole reason He sent his son was so that Jesus could die. And it was not a pleasant death. It was brutal, traumatizing, sickening. Sounds to me like God was the villain, not the good, faithful father. Don’t parents protect? Don’t they do anything they can to keep their children safe? But God didn’t. The same God who destroyed his enemies watched his son die and did nothing.

Jesus was “marred and disfigured.” (Isaiah 52:14, NIV).

“I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” Isaiah 50:6, NIV.

He suffered in silence. Why?

the hope…

For every survivor of abuse who suffered in silence, for anyone who has watched a loved one struggle with abuse, you are the reason he suffered and never cried out. He knew that many of us would keep our pain hidden for years.

I remember being a child and hearing that Jesus died for our sins. But I didn’t know until I was much older that Jesus suffered and died, so He could say to me, I know. I know how you feel. I’ve never left you and I never will. There is a way to escape the pain.

“‘No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17, NIV.

I’ve only read a few chapters of Perfect Match, but I’ve read all of Jesus’s story in the Bible. If you look closely, it isn’t a sappy Hallmark movie or a cute nativity. His story is messy and real, just like ours.

When Jesus died, God was silent, but He said a lot before, after, and he’s still speaking. Death and suffering didn’t have the final word in Jesus’ story. And they don’t have to have the last word in ours either. Healing is possible.

Share This Blog:


Previous Posts

Looking for a Leader: Reflections from the Gettysburg Battlefield
Sarah Schwerin
6/24/2022

Nap Hater: My Quest to Find Rest
Sarah Schwerin
5/3/2022

Dreams of Kenya
Sarah Schwerin
4/26/2022

Snow Days and Hearts that Lead Us Astray
Sarah Schwerin
4/13/2022

Can I Hide From God?
Sarah Schwerin
3/29/2022

Stitches and Waiting on God
Sarah Schwerin
3/25/2022

God’s Voice Or The Enemy’s?
By Sarah
3/3/2022

The Battles We Fight
By Sarah
3/3/2022

Drowning In Fear
By Sarah
3/2/2022

A Boring Bible Story, A Temple, And My Mom: A Devotion On Heaven
By Sarah
3/1/2022

Marriage Advice
By Sarah
2/28/2022

Does Idolatry Exist In Today’s World
By Sarah
2/27/2022

Underwear Blues
By Sarah
2/27/2022

A Voice In Chengdu
By Sarah
2/26/2022

Word Of The Year
By Sarah
2/25/2022

A New Year Challenge
By Sarah
2/24/2022

A Christmas Of Firsts And Lasts
By Sarah
2/23/2022

Christmas And The Suffering Servant: Hope For Abuse Survivors
By Sarah
2/22/2022

The Day I Stopped Watching Horror Movies
By Sarah - Life Lessons
2/21/2022

Waiting Arms
By Sarah
2/20/2022

I Messed Up, Again
By Sarah
2/19/2022

My Tribe: Autism Moms Are The Best
By Sarah
2/18/2022

When Words Wound
By Sarah
2/16/2022

Craving Acceptance
By Sarah
2/15/2022

When Innocent People Suffer
By Sarah
2/14/2022

Rubbish
By Sarah
2/12/2022

The Voices In My Head
By Sarah
2/11/2022

Buffets
By Sarah
2/10/2022

The Process Not The Product
By Sarah
2/9/2022

Hidden Snacks, Ice Cream, And Fairness
By Sarah
2/8/2022

Rootless
By Sarah
2/7/2022

You Never See The Potato Masher Coming
By Sarah
2/5/2022

Forgiveness
By Sarah
2/4/2022

The Unnamed Victim
By Sarah
2/1/2022

Engraved
By Sarah
1/31/2022

Left Handed Hero
By Sarah
1/30/2022

Quarantine Time
By Sarah
1/26/2022