What are friends for?
Friendships are those relationships that enrich our lives. Friends build you up when you’re down and they walk with you through all seasons of life. But when the relationships closest to us do not have our best interest in mind and are abusive, they can tear us down. Our friend Johnny shares his encounter with domestic abuse and how the resulting brokenness could be healed if we were in a loving relationship with God.
It was another one of those rare nights; it was a wide open schedule. Tonight my friend Fred and I went to have dinner and then went for a nice cruise on our fixies on the bumpy under-budget paved streets of So Cal. Sounds nice right? In retrospect, it was a typical celebration of friendship. We saw some random things; a pile of snow in a parking lot in downtown Fullerton, a very cultish looking church service, lots of British people, people waltzing, but what was most out of place was on the way home…
We were heading up Lemon Ave. towards Fullerton and all of sudden, across the street, we saw what looked to be two men fighting. Okay that’s not that weird but like any other youtube video, pushing play was the next step. Turns out there was a 3rd person, it was a young girl, getting beaten by her drunk boyfriend. What?!
Judging by how close her face was to the pavement, she was completely defenseless. A few seconds were heavy minutes. Finally a friend of the boyfriend pushed him off of her, and she began to run away. Her tears and the speed of her legs spelled out “This is my chance to salvation!” This was no C’est la vie for us. Instantly, Fred and I took a detour to catch up with her several blocks later. She was 7 miles from home and crying bullets.
We caught up to her and slowly offered her anything. She was throwing up from stomach pain.
Fred knew she would need water. He brought her some water, offered her money for the bus, and gave her some ‘wet ones’ wipes.
She began to open up slowly as we waited for someone to pick her up.
She was shocked that her boyfriend beat her up, but after her words opened up a window into their relationship, we weren’t surprised.
She said over and over “I have no friends, he doesn’t want me to have any, and I left my friends for him.”
She told us that she doesn’t want friends, doesn’t need friends, but the fresh bruises on her face tell us otherwise.
This girl went to FJC, had a final the next morning, and she felt totally alone with no one to turn to. Bruises or not, she hid her face from people.
We didn’t expect to see this tonight. I felt like God showed us another example of brokenness in our communities. I felt like God was showing us another reason for His great commission and His call to Love. We were given the opportunity to respond and I was so proud of my friend Fred. He was a reminder to me of what God does for me daily. Seeking my needs, meeting them. Seeking me when I’m in trouble, and quickly there to help.
I know this goes on everyday. This brokenness is so sad. Both Fred and I thought of how our college groups are in our churches. If only this girl could meet and have friends like them and be in a community with people who are growing deeper with Christ. If only this girl could meet our Christ, and run to Him for salvation. She would find someone who could never hurt her, only love beyond comprehension.
Please pray for this girl and the many in her situation. Pray that our hearts would find a sense of energy and urgency to seek the hurt in our own neighborhoods. Pray that we can find more outlets to reaching these students; individuals who “don’t want” friends only because they’ve never had true friends.