“I have not come that I may call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Recently I saw a Facebook post where someone was speaking of pro-lifers calling a woman at a clinic a Jezebel and murderer. He was commenting on how, in all his years of pro-life work, he had never heard any language like that. While I may not have heard the actual word “Jezebel,” there certainly is more than enough condemnation to be found for those who have had abortions — by many in the pro-life movement.
We are only three days into October, Respect Life Month, and already I have been inundated with despairing hearts because they believe what they have been told by many in the pro-life movement is true: that their sin is unforgivable and they are doomed to hell.
With the thought of full disclosure, let me say right off the bat that I have had an abortion. I also co-developed a healing ministry named Entering Canaan, and I am the Director of Lumina, Hope & Healing after Abortion, a program of Good Counsel Homes which assists pregnant homeless women.
I have been very blessed and grateful to come to know the love and mercy of God, and truly, because of that, it does not matter what people say. I know what He has done for me and no one can take that away. However, for those who are not in that place yet, hearing cruel comments can be enough to send them in to despair, or even make them suicidal.
Don’t get me wrong. I get that it is hard to understand how anyone could abort a child. I get that it is taking an innocent life. I get that we need to try to stop abortion. I even get that I deserve hell because of what I did, but that is what makes the love and mercy of God more amazing. It is not about what I did, it is about what He did. He died on the cross out of love for me, and you, and everyone else.
We have had 60 million abortions in our country since the passage of Roe v. Wade. Millions of mothers and fathers are suffering in silence, living with the knowledge that they took the life of their own child. Will calling them murderers, wicked, or other things bring them to the heart of Christ? Will it convert them to our cause and have them believe we are the good guys? Will it change hearts?
Will a teenager whose mom has had an abortion and knows she suffers listen to us when they hear us calling their mom a murderer? Will husbands who found out their wives had abortions before they met and are seeking help in healing and reconciliation come to us? Will a sibling trust us when they hear us condemning someone they love? What is the message we want to give?
Yes, always abortion is wrong. Yes, we must always try to stop it to save both the life of the baby, and the souls of the moms and the dads and even future children. But also, we are called to compassion — to be the face of Christ to others who came to call sinners to repentance., the same Christ who willingly died on the cross for each abortion in order to open heaven for those who have had or been involved in them.
Yes, my abortion was terrible. I deserve hell. But because of Him, His love, His forgiveness, and His mercy, I have found healing and repentance. For those of you who are afraid we are “getting off too easy,” I say, we have our own penance. Even those of us who have found healing have to live with the fact of what we did every day of our lives. It is a cross we will carry to Him in gratitude for His mercy to us.
So, I ask you, be careful what you say. Causing despair and a loss of hope in others, maybe even causing them to harm themselves, cannot be pleasing to God. The truth is we are all sinners in need of His mercy. All good comes from Him; everything else is sin, and we are all only saved by His grace.
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