One of the women who testified at the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar, the US Women’s Gymnastics team doctor who abused dozens of young women, was former gymnast Rachel Denhollander. She was the first to bring the abuses to light, and her courage inspired others to come forward.
But in the midst of sharing her horrific story, Rachel shared her faith: Because God exists, there is right and wrong. Because God is just, we can recognize evil and stand against it.
Then Rachel said this to Nassar: “I have experienced the soul satisfying joy of a marriage built on sacrificial love and safety and tenderness and care. I have experienced true intimacy in its deepest joys, and it is beautiful and sacred and glorious. And that is a joy you have cut yourself off from, and I pity you for it.”
Amid the darkness of abuse and fear and pain, there is still light. There is a God of love, who is love, who made us for love; to love each other and to love him. And not just love. God created us to experience deep, soul-satisfying joy, tenderness, and care. And yes, even glory and ecstasy.
In the creation story, God put the man to sleep, pulled out a rib, and fashioned the woman. The woman was created from the man, but the man wasn’t complete until the woman was complete.
Do you see? God designed us to experience his love, joy, tenderness, care, ecstasy, and even his glory, through each other.