David, Lee & Marybeth Elliott and
Dan, Lee & Marybeth Elliott
Reviewed by: Jennifer Foley
Date posted: 10/26/2014
David’s Sword, by David, Lee, and Marybeth Elliott. Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 2008. Paperback, 38 pages, list price $7.99.
David’s Shield, by Dan, Lee, and Marybeth Elliott. Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 2010. Paperback, 63 pages, list price $7.99. Reviewed by OP member Jennifer Foley.
The sexual abuse of children is a profoundly solemn topic. It is terrifying to face, yet a child in your own church—even your own family—may be a victim of abuse, even now. This nightmare pierced the Christian home of the Elliotts one night when their youngest child, David, told them the terrible secret that had kept him trapped. In David’s Sword and David’s Shield, the family shares their story.
The first book, from David’s perspective, tells of the sexual abuse inflicted by a trusted friend and God’s healing for the wound that gashed him. “Goliath” introduced David to a “game,” which continued for months. David was confused, and the abuser’s threats silenced him. David needed to step out of the darkness and bring the secret—and Goliath—into the light. God mercifully answered David’s prayers, giving him courage to use his voice to conquer Goliath with the patient help of his parents. The story offers hope to other victims that they may be free of the abuse, free from shame, and free of the fear keeping them captive.
The second book centers on Dan, the older brother of David. Dan tells of God’s healing for the myriad feelings that gripped him. He explains how he wrestled with desiring vengeance and with guilt for his inability to protect his brother. David’s Shield offers that sibling hope and a better way, God’s way. The book also tells of the unique challenges of helping a child with special needs, as the story includes the oldest brother, Mark, who has autism.
These books are unique in the field, and David uses his real name and a photograph of himself to demonstrate that it is truly safe to come forward. The books serve as excellent tools for preparing us to be alert and ready to help when a need arises. They would be well placed at church book tables and pastoral studies. To order one or both books, write to the Elliotts at firstname.lastname@example.org with “books” as the subject.
For Jennifer Foley's longer review of these books, click here.