We Were the Least of These
Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse
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 much-needed 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.
Illustrated with stories and insights from sexual abuse survivors who have
experienced healing through the Bible, this book 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 activities—one set for survivors and another for those who journey
"As both a trauma survivor and a comforter to brothers and sisters who have
been broken at the hands of those who should have modeled Christ to them, Elaine
Heath understands only too well the devastation of sexual abuse. She has earned
the right to speak and to be heard, and what a powerful voice she has. For over
twenty years, I have been privileged to watch Elaine as she has educated and
encouraged the powerful and influential to become humble paracletes, those who
'come alongside' another in their journey of healing. This book is a work of
courage, love, and great wisdom. Every counselor, pastor, and caring lay person
needs to read We Were the Least of These and use it in his or her ministry."—Morven R. Baker,
director, Ashland Women's Counseling Center, Ashland, Ohio
"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, associate professor of mission and theology, Fresno Pacific Biblical
Seminary; author, Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross
Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 196 pages
Elaine A. Heath (PhD, Duquesne University)
is McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism and director of the Center for
Missional Wisdom at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University,
in Dallas, Texas. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, she is a
frequent retreat speaker and has experience as a pastor and spiritual director.
She is also the author of The Mystic Way of Evangelism.
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