The former spokesperson for Ravi Zacharias reflects on a Christmas miracle that demonstrates the great hope—and great cost—of restoration.
The dining table was set for a fine yet intimate family dinner, accented by festive holiday decor and aglow with candlelight.
The aroma of food filled the cozy Canadian home, along with family chatter after a Saturday out braving cold temperatures and Christmas crowds in the city.
I asked the hostess if I could help with anything. “No, you’re our guest,” she warmly replied. “We’re almost ready.”
As I wandered into the dining room and saw the picture-perfect place settings, tears filled my eyes. “To be given a seat at the table—any table—is one of life’s greatest gifts,” I thought to myself. “To be given a place at this table? A miracle.”
On the surface, this looked like a scene from a Hallmark movie or a holiday commercial. In the shadow of an elegant Christmas tree, the host couple prepared dinner together while the laughter of their children mingled with Christmas carols in the background.
The backstory, however, was far from picture perfect. And the hospitality being extended to me—perhaps the unlikeliest of invitations I’d ever received—had not come without a significant cost.
The hostess was Lori Anne Thompson—a woman who was groomed and sexually abused in 2014–2016 by my then-boss, Ravi Zacharias, who had been a world-renowned Christian apologist. The guest was yours truly—I had been the spokesperson for Thompson’s abuser throughout the abuse crisis. Indeed, for years I was part of the machine that nearly crushed her family.
It is hard to overstate how brutally the Thompson family had been treated by Zacharias and the ministry he led—or how far reaching the consequences of this injustice inflicted …