Theory Versus Application

The words were chilling:

He smashed my phone and then he smashed me.

We had found her sitting on the side of the road staring at her broken phone. When we stopped to ask her if she was okay she burst into tears. When we asked if we could help her, she uttered those words. She didn't want to go home, she told us, and she didn't want to ring the police.

In the end, she decided to ring the police on my phone and we waited with her.

According to her own testimony, she'd been drinking but I couldn't smell alcohol on her when I hugged her tight. She was smoking and refused to sit in our car while we waited. It was late at night - and getting cool - but she preferred to wait on the footpath. We had no idea if the boyfriend was still in the vicinity or not.

I prayed quietly as I held her, feeling anguish for someone I had never previously met, knowing that Christ had died for her just as He had for me, but not offering to pray with her. Others may have done so, but I felt my tongue stilled. All I could offer when she told me this was the fourth time it had happened was to ask if she didn't think she deserved to be treated better. Apparently others had asked her the same thing.

She said it was her fault - she had made him angry - and then cried when she said she couldn't handle this any more. She seemed so young - so defenseless - and with nowhere to go.

I didn't learn her name and I didn't share the gospel with her but I hope she saw Christ in me and looks for Him - that when she finds Him in others she recognises Him and wants to know Him more.

The timing is [I hesitate to use the word] ironic. Any day now my books exploring a Christian response to such a situation will be arriving on my door. Despite writing about it, this is the first time I have come face to face with such a situation. Before my response was based on theory ... hypothetical ... now I've been challenged in other ways and have found myself filled with compassion for an unknown girl.

I most likely will never see her again - but I feel compelled to pray for her and hope to meet her again in heaven.

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