I had the most amazing this week while at work. Normally I would never have answered the phone at that time of day as it was during a session hour, but my client had just called in sick and I was available to respond.
The caller ID said it was from a southern state, one where I knew no one. When I answered, a man’s voice spoke to me, something that is not part of the ‘daily’ in my practice as my counseling center is only for women. Occasionally a male doctor or a spouse will call, but this was not a voice I recognized.
He gave his name, and his wife’s name, and shared that I had counseled them briefly, almost two decades before when I worked in another practice and saw marital couples as well. I had a slight memory of them. He shared that, for a reason unknown to me, he had been looking at my website and had been both struck and convicted by the statistics shown there on domestic violence, because he realized that he had contributed to the statistics. He was a batterer.
We knew that then.
Somehow they survived. Somehow they managed to raise a family. Somehow this man’s wife has had the strength to demonstrate healthy boundaries and yet still has patiently loved him as he has been dealing with the demons of his past, working hard not to pass them on to his children. This man loves his family. For all these years he has been working on changing the monster he was.
He called to thank me and, in tears, wanted to bless me for the ministry and the work that I do.
I will never forget that phone call. This is why it matters. One person at a time, one family at a time. There is hope.