We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse

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9781587432712: We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse
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Much of what is written about abuse and the Bible focuses on the ways Scripture is used to hurt rather than heal. This accessibly written book provides a muchneeded perspective, illuminating the good news of healing and liberation that the Bible offers survivors of sexual abuse. As a theologian and survivor of abuse herself, Elaine Heath handles this sensitive topic with compassion and grace. She offers a close reading of several biblical passages that have proven to be profoundly healing for her and for other survivors. The book is illustrated with stories and insights from sexual abuse survivors who have experienced healing through the Bible in order to bring hope and encouragement to victims. It will be welcome reading for those who have suffered from abuse as well as for pastors, counselors, therapists, and others who minister to them. Each chapter ends with two sets of reflection questions and recommended activitiesone set for survivors and another for those who journey with them.

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Encouragement and Hope for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

We Were the Least of These illuminates the good news of healing and liberation that the Bible offers survivors of sexual abuse. Elaine Heath offers a close reading of several biblical passages that have proven to be profoundly therapeutic for survivors and shares stories and insights from those who have experienced healing through the Bible. As a theologian and survivor of abuse herself, she handles this sensitive topic with compassion and grace.

"Sexual trauma survivors have long felt uncomfortable, out of place, and even ostracized within the church. For many victims, reading the Bible is a painful and even re-victimizing experience. Finally, Elaine Heath has provided a welcome reframing of scripture for survivors of sexual abuse. This book offers a compassionate, theologically sound reading of biblical stories and shares a healing, redemptive perspective. As a survivor of sexual abuse and a counselor who has worked with hundreds of hurting victims, I highly recommend it."--Marnie C. Ferree, executive director, Bethesda Workshops for Sexual Addiction Recovery; author, No Stones: Women Redeemed from Sexual Addiction

"The journey toward healing can be a lonely one for survivors of sexual abuse who feel--and often are treated--like 'the least of these' children of God. Imagine the surprise ending: Jesus himself was the least of these! For Elaine Heath, this ending is just the beginning. This book fills a gap in the literature, and I affirm its value as a professor, pastoral counselor, and minister."--Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Perkins School of Theology, SMU; fellow, American Association of Pastoral Counselors

"Join Elaine Heath in reading the Bible from the perspective of survivors of sexual abuse and see texts in ways you have not seen them before. This is not, however, just a book of new insights. Heath skillfully and pastorally weaves together biblical stories, stories of survivors, and reflection questions. It is a healing, liberating, life-giving book."--Mark D. Baker, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary; author, Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross

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