Oliver asked, “Where is love?” All he wanted was someone to love him. As I think about Oliver feeling alone, rejected, filled with fear, I think of all the children in this world who live in terror. They are the abused and the rejected, those living each day who cry out in their despair, “Does anyone for me care? I toss and turn in my sleep. It’s too dangerous to go to sleep. My father might come into my room and smother me with a pillow. Then, I would have no more time weeping under the willow tree praying from my living hell to be set free. There would be no more sorrow, no more pain. I would be with my Father in Heaven, don’t you see? I’d be part of His eternal family.”
I was like that child, Oliver, feeling rejected by my father, wondering why he would hate me one moment and love me the next. I was terrified of him. I couldn’t in him confide. From him my feelings I would always hide. I never knew when he would lash out and give me a clout. I never knew when I would be told all the ways I was unimportant; all the ways I was small when I needed to feel I was in his eyes six feet tall.
I’m thankful to God for the love of my mother along the way. She would often go into the hellish fray taking the blows from my father meant for me. My Mom encouraged me and worked with my teachers to teach me that while I didn’t have an athletic physique, I have a strong mind. I knew as a child the value of being caring, in being kind. Mom was faithful in her prayers that with God’s help my life path for Him I would find. I’m thankful for my sisters who love me too. My sister Valerie helped me to laugh when times got tough. My sister Judy was there with her tender heart. My grandmother taught me the importance of having an enduring faith in times that were the worst. I learned from her the importance of putting God first. When I would visit my grandfather and grandmother I would hear my grandfather cough from the effects of mustard gas for what felt like an eternity. I would see the clock in his bedroom ticking the minutes by. From my grandfather as a toddler I learned to be a man of my word. He said to me, “Kevin, a man’s word is his bond.” He was a man of courage who fought a tougher battle than that he waged as a World War I soldier in the infantry. Every day after that mustard gas exposure he wrestled with his mortality. When I was only five I lost my grandfather to his third heart attack. I cried on that day for the last time I saw him struggle with his breathing. Before the day was out my grandfather would the gift of eternal life with our Father in Heaven be receiving.
I think of all the children who are abused living in agonizing fear. Their hope has been sucked away. They are too scared, too scarred, too shattered inside to hope. They find it more difficult with their inner sorrow to cope. I ask that you would pray for and do all for them you can. I believe God is for them their biggest fan. With our Father there is no can’t; in Him there is only He can. He can wipe every tear away from their eyes. His love for us only comes in maximum supersize.
I had to learn to first forgive myself and then my father. I had to dare to be vulnerable in loving him more than I ever have. My inner child had to feel the joy of Christ’s inner healing salve. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I wasn’t to blame for my abuse. My father was sick with schizophrenia. It was a journey of many years to come out of the closet of my darkest fear; to know and live the reason why I’m here.
Will you show your love to an abused child?
It’s not just me who asks this of you. Our Father calls and asks it of you too. God always does love you. He always for you is there. He will forever for you care.
Perhaps, there is a little bit of Oliver in all of us. Maybe, you’re still that hurting child feeling rejected inside. You are filled with fear. You wonder why on earth you’re here. Whenever you feel that way look into the eyes of another person who has lost their way and tell them, “Our Father can end your dark night, and show you the healing brightness of sun’s day. If He did it for me He can do it for you. God’s love is with us all the way.”
Kevin and Karen Osborne are psychotherapists and pastoral counselors. Kevin is a chaplain. He also feels called to be a professor of Psychology specializing in Pastoral Theology. Karen is the Director of a women’s abuse shelter. She enjoys doing cross-stitch while I like writing and singing songs. Karen makes me laugh when she sings the kitty bed-time song saying, “It’s that time. It’s the bestest kitty time of the day!” Kevin enjoys teasing the kitties and making them do kitty dances with music. Their kitty, Catherine, loves it when kitty daddeh sings All Things Bright and Beautiful. Kevin likes doing impressions. He tells children’s stories and helps others with their problems using his hand puppets, Dr. Teddy, who is a therapy teddy bear, and Mike the Moose from Matheson. This is a small town in northern Ontario, Canada, an hour’s drive south of the city of Timmins. Dr. Teddy and Mike the Moose from Matheson are consultants with us in our counselling practice.We are available to assist with worship and preaching to give busy ministers a much-needed break. We offer in-office, and phone counselling to anyone in the world.