Jump directly to the Content

Sins of the Family

(In the following true account, names and some identifying details have been changed.)

He's going to smother me. Cari's face was pressed against Pastor Roland's chest so tight she thought her mascara would smudge his starched white dress shirt. He seemed so huge--like a jumbo Santa Claus without the beard.

When he released his patented bearhug, he said, "See you Wednesday in my office," and turned to talk with the family behind her.

Cari left Meadowbrook Church feeling a little better than when she arrived. She always felt drawn to Pastor Roland's large, warm presence. He wasn't the senior pastor at Meadowbrook, but Cari thought he should be. He was the pastor everybody saw when they needed pastoral care. He was the grandfather, the statesman who balanced out Jesse, the younger, more intense senior pastor.

On Wednesday Cari emptied a box of Kleenex telling Pastor Roland her life story--her alcoholic father who sexually abused her until her twelfth birthday, her abbreviated first marriage, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Who Will Pay Africa’s Medical Bills?
Who Will Pay Africa’s Medical Bills?
Locals are increasingly running African mission hospitals. The next challenge: keeping foreign donors.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.
close