“The slap”

I stopped by the Tesco in Osterley last night to pick up a few groceries.  As I walked in the car park, I remembered (as I always do when walking in the Osterley Tesco car park) “the slap” from a few years back.

Sitting in our car reading while Jos picked up a few things, the yelling caught my attention first.  A young couple about 50 yards directly in front of me were having an argument.  The words were not clear but the body language was.  There was tension.  And then it happened.

   The guy slapped her!

Quickly with force.   Then quickly jogged away.   I ran over to check on her.  She was in weeping and in a state of shock.  “He’s never done that before”, she said.  “No, don’t call the police.  I’m alright.”

We talked for a bit and I encouraged her to leave him.  Giving her my card, I asked her to call if she ever needed help.

No man has the right to physically attack his wife or girlfriend.  And yet this slap was just a little opening into the lives of millions of women who live in fear from their partners.  The curtains were pulled back just a little for me that day.

I have become more and more convinced that justice involves the protection of women from abusive men.  That afternoon was a wake-up call for me which still burns in my mind.

May we work for the day when men love their wives tenderly in the way Peter commands  in 1 Peter 3:7:

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel”

Women are the “weaker vessel” in the same way that a beautiful goblet is weaker than the travel mug for my coffee.  Of course, I treat the goblet with care.

Let us pray and work for the day when all men would treat the women in the lives the same way.

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Chris Hatch

Seeking to love God and neighbor

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