Last Thursday afternoon I received a call while in my office at Emmanuel Enid. One of our secretaries buzzed in and said, "I have a man on the phone who claims to be the father of the young girl abused by Tom White and he wishes to speak to you." My heart skipped a beat. Earlier in the week I had felt impressed to write an open letter on the Internet to the unnamed and unknown girl allegedly abused by Tom White, the Executive Director of Voice of the Marytyrs. The police and press had both reported that Tom White had committed suicide while under investigation for possible abuse of this young girl. When I first heard of Tom's suicide, my immediate thoughts went to his victim. I was not sure if she would ever read the open letter, but I asked the Lord, if possible, to use the letter to bring healing to the girl and her family. For her to understand how important she was to me (and others), I wrote these words: "The first person I thought about when I read the story of your abuser’s death was you. I do not view his death as something more tragic than his abuse of you. Let me say that again in a different way. The abuse perpetrated on you is far more tragic than your abuser’s death. I did not think of his ministry, his reputation, or even his family when I first heard of his death. I thought about you. Your abuser’s sin and shame and his lack of personal responsibility and courage are the direct causes of his death. Your abuser took his own life and you had nothing to do with it."
The parents' response to the discovery of their daughter's abuse is a textbook case on how parents should handle such a tragic situation. The young girl is doing remarkably well, and credit goes to her father and mother for the forthright, loving and supportive manner in which they responded to their daughter's abuse and her abuser. I have requested that the couple write a guest post of their experiences as a means of comforting other families who have gone through similar difficult situations. They are considering it. Regardless, I know that hundreds of people will be helped in the future by this remarkable family. Their story is gripping. My prayers continue for this family.
Finally, the power of the Internet has been reinforced to me through this experience. We who write for the cause of Christ always do well when we write words that either bring healing to the wounded or refreshment to the weary; nothing lukewarm for us. Thanks to my new friend who called last week, I have been encouraged once again that the Lord can use words written and published on the Internet for His glory and the good of His people.