Rebuilding the Walls

I only had a few seconds before I had to walk out the door, but when the headline caught my eye, I stopped, frozen in shock, pain, and disgust. 

“Four Boys Accused of Raping Girl, 8”

I read the article, which described the brutal sexual assault of an eight-year-old girl at the hands of four boys, aged 9, 10, 13, and 14.  And when I reached the end of the article, I almost doubled over in pain as I read the reaction of the victim’s father: “The father told the case worker and an officer in her presence that he didn’t want her back.  He said, ‘Take her, I don’t want her.’” (Associated Press on, July 24, 2009)

As a woman who has been sexually assaulted, I will tell you the two biggest fears of someone who has been sexually assaulted.

(1)     That they won’t be believed.

(2)    That this thing that has happened will cause them to become unlovable.

In one day, this child’s life has been completely shattered.  And then her father hurt her more than the four little boys ever could have. 

Oh, God, please go hold her and be with her through this pain.  Heal her and make her whole.  The enemy has stolen everything that this child had.  Give it all back and restore her.

When I went to college, I made some of the closest friends that I’ve ever had.  I made one friend in particular that was the closest thing to a sister that I had ever had.  We were a lot alike.  So much so that there were days that we could barely stand each other.  But we also understood each other in ways that most people couldn’t understand us.  We loved each other a lot and so even when we’d fight, we always made up.  You can mess with me, but if you mess with her, I’m gonna punch you in the eye!

I spent the night with her one Friday night and we were sitting in the dark, on the couch, talking.  All of a sudden, I felt the earth crack under me as she began to cry and tell me about being raped by a family member. 

There were a lot of things that broke my heart that night…  And that still hurt my heart today.  I think that at that time, she had only told two or three people, including me.  To this day, I don’t believe she has told her family, because she is so scared that they won’t believe her and that it will cause them not to love her.

Today, when I read this news article about this 8-year-old girl, I wished with all of my heart that I could do something to touch her and heal her.  But I can’t.  She doesn’t know me.  And even if she did, only God can heal these types of hurts.  But maybe there are other people that will read these words and find healing in them.  To those people, I say this…

God did not want you to be hurt.  But when that person chose to go against God’s desires and hurt you, you weren’t alone.  Jesus was with you and He was crying for you.  And now, even as you hurt, He loves you and wants to heal you.  If you haven’t reached out to Jesus for healing, then whatever you’ve done to heal yourself is only a band-aid on a tumor.  You may not be able to see the wound, but it is still there.  Open it up to Jesus and He’ll take it away forever.  With His help, you can be free.  You don’t have to be angry anymore.  One day, those people who have hurt you will have to stand before God and be judged for what they have done.  God is your avenger.  You can forgive.  You can be whole and you can be free.

God has comforted his people. He has tenderly nursed his beaten-up, beaten-down people. But God’s people said, “I don’t get it. God has left me. My Master has forgotten I even exist.” Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you – never. Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands. The walls you’re rebuilding are never out of my sight. Your builders are faster than your wreckers. The demolition crews are gone for good.  – Isaiah 49:13b-17 MSG

About Sarah Salter


  1. Stories like this…all I got is “Cease Striving.” I don’t know what else to do?

  2. My heart aches for that little girl. Her life will never be the same and with her father’s rejection she could be even further lost and subject to abuse and self destruction. What an awful, awful story.

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