“After a lifetime of dealing with never ending problems, I sympathize with those who have found themselves in similar positions and don’t have the support system or coping skills or knowledge to push through the pain and get through a problem without hurting their child. It seems odd that I would feel that way about the people who hurt the children I take care of – but I empathize because I can see how it easy it would be for me to go completely over the edge and hurt another person. There, but for the grace of God, go I. Those words play over and over in my head.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not condoning hurting your children or anyone else. And I’m not excusing it. I’m simply stating what other people might recognize but not admit. We all have that innate capacity for evil and we are all selfish to some degree and those qualities, left unchecked and without God, can yield some horrific results.”
Postscript 1: For those of you who might be inclined to think forgiveness means restoring the relationship with the abuser - that is not the objective. In fact, it is probably dangerous - especially for my children. Moreover, those of you who think I should wait for him to repent or be sorry for what he did before I forgive, may misunderstand that I am the one harmed if I can't forgive. It can eat away at me for years and still have absolutely no influence on the outcome of the abuser's heart or of the legal system. I understand that both intellectually and in my heart.
Postscript 2: I am often amused by the role irony plays in my life. I just realized that I was out of town teaching others about biblical peacemaking and forgiveness at the time my child was harmed. Maybe God needed for me to see the obvious connection.