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sexual sin

photo: graphic: Martha G. Brady

I led a very sheltered life…very sheltered! I learned a lot about the facts of life in real life ways, while in nurses’ training. I learned about the actual facts of life from a neighbor kid as a young teen.

But living in such strict schools for high school and a portion of college, I was naive or stupid enough to think that most people actually kept the majority of the rules…or at least tried to, like I did. I was very wrong! Yes, I knew that some people were expelled, but I was not exposed to the everyday realities of evil among Christians apart from hurt feelings…so minor in the overall scheme of things!

During our time in Jamaica, I had so much to learn! As it turned out, my daughter Dawn often wanted to take a walk to one of my friend’s homes off campus for tea. Often it was very inconvenient. It seemed a little strange how often this one man was at her home but there was always a plausible explanation and I wasn’t very suspicious. Those days are gone!

There was some dark behavior going on almost under my unsuspecting nose!

The man was the husband of one of her good friends from church…the non-Christian husband of her Christian friend. As I learned later, we were walking in on them because they were having an affair. Often, he had just arrived or was getting ready to leave. There was always a reason…he was dropping off goat’s milk, fixing something, there was always some obvious reason for his presence.

How did they get found out? She got pregnant. She knew it wasn’t her husband’s child for reasons I won’t go into here and since the man with whom she was having the affair was of a different race, she knew if she had this child, she would be found out! She didn’t want to live with her mistake for the rest of her life.

I’m not sure how she convinced her husband to allow her to have an abortion without confessing to the affair, but she did. They were not illegal in Jamaica. It wasn’t difficult to find a private doctor who would do one. So she had one, done by a doctor in a hospital. But her uterus was perforated anyway. I think she ended up having to have a hysterectomy. She didn’t go into a lot of details.

I didn’t see her for a few days and of course, had no idea she was in the hospital. She didn’t tell anyone. With the complications, she was forced to confess more than she originally planned…but didn’t tell what had really happened regarding her pregnancy.

I’m not a good friend if someone doesn’t want questions

The problem came that I ask questions. Lots of them. Especially of my friends who are nurses. I knew her well! The more I asked, the more she started to cry. And out poured the story. Her guilt, grief, pain and sorrow came tumbling out.

She had been part of a Bible study of women, many of them unbelievers, many invited by her! She was one of the core group of us who were hosting it in my home. As the story unfolded, I almost felt sick to my stomach! Truly, I felt the shock viscerally. Dawn was playing with her children and was oblivious to what was happening of course.

What we did in the next weeks is difficult for me to remember

Honestly, I don’t remember what we did. I’m quite sure that Ron came to help untangle some things and discuss with them what needed to be done to begin healing their marriage. I know we prayed together that day…and many times after. I also know I comforted her and reminded her of GOD’s forgiveness.

I also know they didn’t rush to confess to their church! Her husband was a lay leader there. A certain level of reconciliation did occur, but I’m not sure they did everything that needed to be done to restore their relationships there through their church.

The end result was that they ended up moving back to their home country and her husband changed jobs within a few months of this incident. We wrote a few times but I have lost track of her now. The last letter I wrote was returned because the address was out of date.

What did I learn from this experience?

What did I learn? I learned that GOD works in spite of deep sin…but He won’t allow it to stay hidden. It will come to light sooner or later. It was a grace that it came to light, that her abortion complicated, that we were able to take some steps to deal with it…as many as she and her husband would allow.

We think of grace as being so sweet and nice. But it often shows up in very ugly places, in dark corners, in places we have no desire to go! But the light of His grace shows up anyway. It changes the person who is struggling with sin and it changes us as we see the scars sin leaves in its wake.

Challenge: Where have you bumped into the results of sin in your life? in the life of someone close to you? How did you need to see the grace of GOD in that situation? Where did they need to experience reconciliation with GOD? with others involved?