I first met Mary at the Valued Conference in March. And my first impression of her was that she is both kind and humble. More recently, my wife and I spent some time with her and that first impression was solidified. Mary is kind and humble, and I might add, patient and wise like Jesus. I’m grateful for her life and for her words that in Christ “bind up the wounds” of the brokenhearted (Ps 147:2-3)—including my own.
She gave an incredible devotional to kick off the conference, which you can watch here.
Mary shares some of her story in this video, too, and I encourage you to watch the full video, as well as the other talks given at the Valued Conference.
But one of the profound statements she made that night was this.
Here is why people are walking out the back doors of our churches: It’s because nobody is standing from the front telling stories like this. That has to change.
People have left the church and are leaving the church in droves. But it doesn’t have to be this way anymore, and people can be welcomed back into church if we would only start to listen to voices like Mary.
Mary is a gift to the church and her newest book, We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis, is a must read for survivors, church leaders, church members, and for anyone who has given up on church completely. She prophetically calls for the church to be a haven for the broken.
Look, Christians can and should respond to the #MeToo movement differently. We can and should do better. We can reflect Jesus with our words and actions and demonstrate a posture of openness, empathy, kindness, and love toward those who have been wounded and who feel like social outcasts. The book provides a solid pathway forward for the church to be the church, which will both protect survivors and seek justice as a haven of healing.
I won’t give a full review here because the whole book needs to be read and digested, but here’s a snippet that I thought was worth sharing. She perfectly balances both the grace and truth of Jesus (Jn 1:14) with her words…
This book is gracious, truthful, redemptive, restorative, informative, and prophetic. Listen, learn, and be changed.
You can preorder a copy of Mary’s book by clicking here or by clicking on the image below. The book will be released on August 13, 2019.