Abuse is an ugly word with ugly meaning behind it. Today, we choose to lean into the uncomfortable and reflect on being abused, witnessing the effects of abuse, and perhaps even abusing others. Slowly browse these photos as you consider your own experience. Following the images, you will find a corresponding Bible verse and prayer. (Note: Submit your photos now and tag @OakHouseRetreats #abuse).

This photo above was submitted anonymously, but the person did want to share the following: Here’s a photo for #abused for the Stations of the Cross project you’re working on. It’s too personal for me to post it myself, but it came to mind—-it’s a picture of the scars on my left arm from self-mutilation. I burned and cut myself repeatedly over a number of years in response to being abused.



The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers.  They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.  And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!”  Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.  And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.  (Mark 15:16-20)


Father, such humiliation and pain is difficult to picture.  May I recall that Jesus, who suffered greatly in life, meets me in my own humiliation and pain.

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