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The Unopened Gift

Abuse Christmas Self-worth

Source: "Man keeps unopened Christmas gift from girl who dumped him almost 50 years ago," by Rob Drinkwater with the Western Star, December 24, 2017

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-01-04

Scripture: John 3:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

Rob Drinkwater, with the Western Star, reports,

Back in 1970, Adrian Pearce was a 17-year-old Grade 12 student at George S. Henry Secondary School in Don Mills, Ontario, looking forward to Christmas vacation.

Then his girlfriend — his first serious girlfriend — broke up with him.

"She gave me a present at the same time and I took the present home. I had a long walk home and I was all upset and angry and all the things you feel when somebody breaks up with you," Pearce recounted.

"And so I fired the present under the Christmas tree. After my family opened their gifts at Christmas, there was still one Christmas gift left and it's the gift this girl Vicki had given me. I told my family I'm never going to open that present."

He never did.

... For years, Pearce continued placing the present under the tree, even after he got married and had children. His kids kept asking him if they could open it, but Pearce refused. Eventually, his wife put her foot down and said it wasn't welcome under the tree anymore.

Now he just pulls out the old gift, which is wrapped in shiny blue paper that's fading, and just looks at it before putting it away again.

APPLICATION

Many people have a difficult time receiving.  They have been made to feel unworthy in the past and that feeling has stayed with them.

To address this, God has stepped in to reassert our true value and worth.  He did this by sending His only begotten Son into the world to give His life for our redemption.  

Have you been rejected or abused? Have you been made to feel unworthy? As a result, do you have a difficult time receiving the gifts of praise and recognition?  Perhaps you even find it hard to believe and to accept what Jesus has done for you.

God wants you, above all else, to understand that He loves you.

Don't be like Mr. Pearce, who refuses to open the gift that has been given to him, or like countless others who, every year, celebrate Christmas without actually receiving the gift that’s been offered.  

Why Is It So Hard To See Black and Blue

Abuse Denial Restoration

Source: “Here's a New Salvation Army Ad Starring the Dress. (Yes, That Dress.),” published RELEVANT.com, retrieved 3/8/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-03-09

Scripture: Galatians 6:1 ; James 5:19

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

ILLUSTRATION

"The dress." It became a social media viral sensation. Was it white and gold or black and blue? Depending on your color perception predisposition, you might see it as the former yet your friend or neighbor might see it as the latter. No could agree. Those who saw it as white and gold were completely incredulous that anyone could see it as black and blue. And yet, after careful scientific scrutiny, it was determined that "the dress" was indeed—black and blue! (Click here for a more detailed explanation of “the dress” by Illustration Exchange.

Well, just when it seems that “the dress” was on its way to becoming yesterday’s news, it surfaced again in an all-too-serious context. RELEVANT Magazine reports:

The Dress exhausted its five minutes of viral fame this week, but it’s already become a national talking point, the source of Buzzfeed's most-trafficked post of all time and a terrible tattoo. Now it's become something with a little more gravity: the subject of an ad about domestic violence. Salvation Army whipped the ad together awfully quick, making this a nice case of using something trivial to raise awareness about something important.

The ad shows a beautiful young woman posing, wearing “the dress” in the white and gold color scheme. But that’s not the only color you see—her face, arms and legs are black and blue, and her lip is swollen and bloodied. It reads simply, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”

In small print below, it reads, “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in 6 women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”

Click here to see the full ad.

APPLICATION

Why, indeed, is it so hard to “see” abuse when it’s right there in front of us? Fear of reprisal, fear of being blamed (or conversely, fear of placing blame), or just plain fear of facing the facts can all drive us to denial—whether we are the abused, the abuser, or simply a concerned loved one who longs to look past the black and blue to the illusion of the nice, neat, pretty life to which we want to cling.

Denial is not an option when our dignity and safety, or that of someone we love, is at stake.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

“O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more” (Proverbs 10:17-18, ESV).

Will Franklyn, Your Father Loves You

Love (Uncondtional) Shame Abuse

Source: Annonymous

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-09-14

Author: Annonymous / Illustration Exchange
7

ILLUSTRATION

In May of 2008, Grammy winning Christian singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman's family suffered an unthinkable loss. PEOPLE Magazine reported at the time:

Chapman's youngest daughter, Maria Sue, was hit in the driveway of her family's Franklin, Tenn., home by an SUV driven by her teenage brother, the Associated Press reports. The brother, Will Franklyn Chapman, apparently did not see the girl.

Several family members witnessed the accident, according to the AP. Maria Sue later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Laurie Holloway said.

The incident was ruled a "tragic accident."

"Just hours before, this close knit family was celebrating the engagement of the oldest daughter Emily Chapman, and were just hours away from a graduation party marking Caleb Chapman's completion of high school. Now, they are preparing to bury a child who blew out 5 candles on a birthday cake less than 10 days ago," Chapman's manager Jim Houser wrote on a blog dedicated to Maria that was set up for condolences. "These words are unthinkable to type."

APPLICATION

A young woman I know (herself the victim of tremendous pain and tragedy) had been so badly scarred by abuse and abandonment that she blamed--and shamed--herself, feeling she was at fault for the wreckage of her past. Having just recently come to faith, she shared her devotional thoughts about the Chapman's tragedy:

I was watching Steven Curtis Chapman and his family talk about the tragic day their daughter passed away after being struck by her brother's vehicle in their own driveway. I was in tears the whole time. But what was encouraging my tears to flow wasn't just the tragedy of the death of this beautiful little girl. Rather, it was what the family said happened next.

Will said that moments after the tragedy, he just started running, because he could not face the reality of what just happened. He didn't get far, though, before his brother tackled him to hug on him, love on him and pray over him.

It was in that moment, as his driver was speeding him away to the hospital, that Chapman rolled down his passenger window and screamed as loud as he humanly could, "Will Franklyn, your father loves you!"

Chapman said he doesn't even remember saying it because his adrenaline was kicking so hard. The only reason he even knows it happened was because his driver recalled it.

I still get choked up when I think about that.

My friend continues:

I'm in awe of how God was there, in the moment of tragedy, loving on that family. I later couldn't help but get a picture in my head of how, in my own life, when I make terrible mistakes or think I've sinned so badly that I can't help but want to run away, God calls out to me, "Amy (not her real name), your father loves you!"

I sometimes focus so much on my shame that I fail to see a loving Father standing with his arms wide open, calling out for me to come to Him.

Who Wants to Marry a Kill-ionaire

Marriage Husbands Abuse

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-06-02

Scripture: Ephesians 5:25

Author: Newser Staff / Illustration Exchange
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Bless Those Who Curse You

Servanthood Abuse Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Author: David Slagle
6

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Christian Rope-A-Dope

Confrontation Conflict Abuse

Contributed By: Keith Johnson | Date Posted: 2013-08-07

Author: Keith Johnson
4

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Thin Wires

Happiness Peace Abuse

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-08

Author: Chuck Swindoll
8

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Discipline or Child Abuse?

Discipline (Corrective) Abuse Parenting

Contributed By: Leroy Larson | Date Posted: 2012-03-14

Scripture: Proverbs 13:24

Author: Dana Mack
1

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No Room For Abuse In Marriage

Divorce Abuse Adultery

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2011-11-20

Scripture: Ephesians 5:24

Author: Gary Richmond
1

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Only Beat Me Once A Week, Please

Marriage Intimidation Abuse

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-02-10

Scripture: 1 John 4:10 ; 1 John 4:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
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