Bianca was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. I met her in 1997, in a group for women, who had been sexually abused and sought healing. I was new to Berlin and also new in this congregation. Sandra, the leader of the group, had asked me if I’d like to assist her. At first, I refused, because I was in the middle of a healing process myself and couldn’t imagine myself dealing with such a difficult topic just now. But a few days later, Jesus spoke to me, convincing me otherwise. Bianca was a participant in the group. She was not to be overlooked! Even her eye-catching appearance, caught everyone’s attention, but Bianca also stood up for her style. She was so broken, but also at the same time, so strong. She too, was new to the church, and was still skeptical about believing in Jesus. But she was also fascinated and visibly absorbed everything that was said. She was honest, courageous, and soon began to relate more and more about herself and her story in the group; and later in the friendship that developed between us.
Bianca had been sexually abused by both, her father and mother, as long as she could remember. An uncle had also sexually abused her. As a toddler, her mother would bring little Bianca to a pediatrician and regularly left her with him for a few hours. She had sold her daughter – to this doctor, who wanted little girls. The abuse continued throughout Bianca’s life. Again and again she came into contact with people, who abused her; classmates, acquaintances, and men with whom she had hoped to have a loving relationship.
Often when we talked, she would say, „Bettina, I’m so broken! I feel like a bunch of broken pieces thrown in the trash.“
But Bianca had also won hope! Hope in Jesus, who could heal, what was broken in her. I’ve only seen a few people plunge into their healing process, as Bianca did! She looked at her pain with brutally honesty, because she wanted her wounds to heal. And she was always close to Jesus. Soon Bianca, became an absolute role model in the faith for me, the former theology student. And she still is! Seeking to be in Jesus‘ presence! Seeking healing! Seeking healing in the presence of Jesus! Throwing everything at the feet of Jesus! Not creeping around Jesus out of fear, but breaking through fear and being before him with that, which scared me so much. Oh, how she lived that out before me!
One Sunday morning, I missed Bianca in the worship of our congregation. She came in just before the end of the meeting. Afterwards she told me the reason that she had come in so late. It was a Sunday, and we served the Lords Supper during worship. The problem was, Bianca felt so dirty, too unworthy to partake of the Lords Supper. The biblical truths that anyone may come and receive communion just as he or she is, did not help her. Bianca stayed at home with her feelings. She wanted to attend the service, but she could not. Her feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness were too strong.
And then Bianca did what she always did in such situations. She told me about it: „Bettina, I’ve been creeping around Jesus for a long time, in wide circles. I was so ashamed. So dirty with everything they did to me. And then I broke up with the creeping around. I knelt on my rug in the living room and cried and threw myself at Jesus‘ feet with all that I felt. And then he showed me a picture. “
This is the picture Bianca saw: A vase that was broken. There were cracks in it and whole pieces were missing, so the vase had holes. „That’s how I felt. Completely broken.“ And then the picture changed. A warm light came out of the vase. It penetrated through the cracks and holes and it lit up the environment of the vase. Suddenly the vase looked beautiful, and it was anything but useless and unfit. Just the cracks and the missing pieces now served to make the light that was in her visible. And Jesus spoke to Bianca and told her that she was beautiful for him. And that he did not neglect her wounds and her brokenness. Actually, he wanted to let his light shine just Through her wounds. He gazed at Bianca with love, and in his eyes she was precious and full of dignity!
This image fell into Bianca’s heart, and it healed many wounds. And so she came, took the Lords Supper, and touched my heart with her story. Bianca has not only touched my heart. Furthermore, she was becoming more healed and her light beamed. Bianca developed a wonderful gift of counselling and she could see so directly into the hearts of people, that it often left me speechless.
The light of Jesus shines in our darkness and brokenness. And it seems to be just where we were and are broken. Jesus bore our illness, our sin, our pain. He also carried our wounds and our brokenness to his cross on Golgotha. He took them with him to his death. – But he did not stop there. In the midst of our brokenness, his light and his life shines forth. And he transforms us – with everything that we are – into beautiful vessels – beautiful people, through whom his love radiates.
(Bianca an Sandra are codenames, in order to protect their privacy)