Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I was talking with a woman recently and commented about all the accolades I have heard about her late husband. His name is very well known in CRC circles as one who has profoundly influenced the lives and ministries of countless people. She responded that she hears such words often and then she began to name people--names many of you would know--who have told her what her husband meant to them. I was about to move on to another topic when she stopped me, and with some hesitation began to pour out her heart about how abusive her husband was behind the scenes. She told how the family suffered for years and still suffers today because of his neglect and his abuse. For ten minutes I just listened. I asked her if she had written her story down or if she had ever told anyone. Her answer surprised me. Yes, she said, I've told you. She went on to say that she couldn't confide in people because her husband was regarded so highly and she knew people would not believe her. She showed no bitterness, just painful honesty. How sad it is that she must be silenced and bear her burden alone---though I have plans to meet with her soon. Her story reminded me of Frank Schaeffer's autobiographical novel, Portofino--a story that suggests a very troubling behind-the-scenes perspective on his "saintly" father, Francis Schaeffer. This woman's story also reminds me of the Seminary administrators who behind the scenes are very different from the "godly" exterior they present to the public.