Victim

Maria drummed her fingers on the steering wheel. I'm going to be late for Grace's piano recital. It's a good thing Michael left work early to take her. I knew I'd be late!

The light turned green. Maria checked both ways before she entered the intersection. Just before she cleared the intersection . . . Wham! Her car spun in a circle and crashed against the curb. Maria's head struck the window and dropped forward as the vehicle rocked to a stop.

When Maria opened her eyes lights flashed--white, red, blue, yellow. What happened? I can't be late for Grace's recital. She's depending on my being there!

Someone opened the driver's door. "Are you all right?"

"I don't know," Maria said. "My head hurts."

"Don't move. The paramedics are coming." The lights faded away and Maria's head dropped forward again.

When she woke up, doctors and nurses bustled around her. A doctor bent over her, flashing a tiny light in her eyes. A blood pressure cuff squeezed her arm.

"Where am I?" she asked.

"You're in the hospital. You've had an accident," the doctor replied. "You just rest; we're taking good care of you."

"The recital!" Maria tried to sit up, but gentle pressure on her shoulders forced her back onto the bed. Tears started to stream from the outside corners of her eyes and trickle into her ears. "I have to go to Grace's recital!"

"I'm sorry," the doctor said in a gentle voice. "You need to rest. Is there someone we can call?"

"My cell phone," Maria mumbled. "Call Michael."

"You're the victim of a drunk driver," the doctor said. "We're doing all we can to help you get well."

Victim! Not again! I was a victim when Jake left, too. I did all I could to make him happy, but he just left!

The tubes hanging over her seemed to twist and turn. A nurse's face changed and melted, then Maria's hand dropped limply over the edge of the bed as she slipped into unconsciousness.

We've all felt victimized at one time or another. We've been driven off the road by a road hog, had our pockets picked, or been swindled by a fast-talking con man. Satan's swindle on a fallen world is to victimize people. If we have not been victims yet, we will be.

David felt victimized, even though he was the king of a large nation. In Psalm 35 he tells the Lord about it. In essence, he says, "People are seeking my life! [v. 4]. They're laying traps for me, Lord! [v. 7]. They give false testimony against me and repay me evil for good [vv. 11-12]; they rejoice when I make a mistake [v. 15]; they hate me without a reason [v. 19] and make up false accusations about me [v. 20]."

In his great emotional stress, David had come to the only One who could help him. He says, "Who is like you, O LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them" (v. 10). Psalm 14:5 states, "God takes the side of victims" (The Message).

Jesus was a victim, too. He knows how a victim feels. While hanging on the cross, He was able to say, "‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing'" (Luke 23:34). Through forgiveness, "The victim of the cross became the victor of the cross."1 Christ has victory for each victim who comes to Him for strength.


1   Dennis White, in a sermon preached at the Pentecostal Church in Nairobi, Kenya.