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"Why Didn't God Stop The Abuse?"

By Dr. Margaret Paul
October 21, 2013

Have you ever wondered why God allows so much abuse, so much pain, so much war?

"God has no hands but these." - Mother Theresa

I am often asked by my clients, "If God is all powerful, why didn't he stop my father (or mother, or brother, or babysitter, or uncle or a stranger) from abusing me? Why does he allow all this abuse to go on?"

The question indicates that the person does not understand what God is, which means he or she would not understand Mother Theresa's statement.

Many people have been programmed to believe that God is a person in the sky who can stop people from doing awful things. These Bible passages define God differently than that:

1 John 4:24
“God is Spirit...”

1 John 4:8
"…God is love.”

1 John 4:16
“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

God is love, God is Spirit. God has no hands, so we must be the hands of God. The love that is God is always here, always ready to enter our hearts when our hearts are open to love.

However, since we all have free will, we all decide when to open or close our heart. God cannot enter a closed heart. God comes into our hearts by invitation, and we invite God into our hearts when our intent is to be loving to ourselves and to others.

Abusers have closed their hearts to God. Their intent is to protect themselves against their own pain through some form of controlling behavior. God cannot guide them because their hearts are closed.

When a person closes their heart, they cut off their empathy and compassion. They stop caring about the effect they have on others, and can therefore do untold harm. Very likely, their parents or caregivers had closed their hearts, and if they were abused or didn't receive the love they needed, they learned to do the same thing, trying to manage the pain. The result is that they may do to others what was done to them. The legacy of abuse is very sad.

However, in my work with my clients, it is always evident to me that the reason children can survive abuse is because the love that is God is always there for them, helping them to manage the pain. Often, children can remember dissociating, leaving their bodies during abuse, and being with a loving presence who helps them to survive the terror and pain.

It is my experience that God/Love is always here, always ready to guide me in my highest good and the highest good of all, and always ready to help me manage painful situations. When I open to learning about what is loving to me and to others, I feel the love that is God enter my mind and heart. I hear God's loving Word guiding me each moment.

When people have not learned how to lovingly manage the loneliness and heartbreak of life, or when their abuse was so traumatizing that they become frozen in their fear, they protect themselves against the loneliness and heartbreak by closing their heart. God cannot make a closed person open to love. This is because we have been given free will.

"God has no hands but these."

We can each choose to be the hands of God by learning how to lovingly manage our pain so that we don't inflict pain on others.

Inner Bonding is a wonderful process for learning to lovingly manage pain, so that we can keep our hearts open and be God's loving hands.


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