I am vehemently against the death penalty. Now stay with me…this is not a post about my opinion regarding that. You can disagree or agree with me on that some other time. I did want to share a little bit about why I take these matters so seriously. When I was confirmed as a Catholic, I chose Mary Magdalene as my confirmation saint. I felt an immediate connection to her. She had sinned so much…and was forgiven in even greater amounts. She knew she didn’t deserve forgiveness…but she received it anyway. And because of this, she clung to Christ. She knew she was nothing without Him.
I have also done my fair share of sinning. And I have also been forgiven much more than I deserve. I abused and betrayed women in the worst possible way. I convinced them to kill their children. I was an accomplice to murder. Thousands of times…women I knew, women I didn’t, my friends, even my family. I lied to people. I lied to women when they came to me for accurate information. I was among the worst sinners…those that help to take and destroy life.
I took my own children’s lives…twice. Not because I was coerced. Not because I didn’t know better. But because I thought children would be an inconvenience to my lifestyle. I am responsible for their death…no one else.
So when someone says things like, “murderers don’t deserve to breathe the same air as I do,” it hurts a little. Because that was me. But I am still here…breathing that same air…and trying to spend my life righting my wrongs. And it’s not just me. I know they hurt others like me, as well. People who have left the abortion industry and will work every day to recover from their sins. People who are still in the industry and think they will be shunned by the pro-life movement…maybe they would reach out to us if they knew we would accept them.
I know some will say, “but you repented, that is the difference.” But what if I hadn’t…not yet. What if I was still inside the abortion industry? What if I was still an accomplice to murder? What if it took me longer to realize the truth? Do I deserve to die? Are we saying repentance is about our timing? Certainly, it is not about us, it about God and His perfect timing.
Right now, I shouldn’t be in this movement. I should be the COO of the 4th largest revenue generating Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country. I should be overseeing the largest abortion facility in the Western Hemisphere. I should be making 6 times the amount of money that I make in the pro-life movement. But I’m not. Why? Because of forgiveness. Because of mercy. Because of grace. Because of God.
I am not the sweetest person. I’m not the one who catches all the flies with honey…sometimes I am all vinegar. What do you expect? You expect the most tender hearted to work in the abortion industry? Maybe we aren’t like all of you. Maybe we aren’t the most kind-hearted. But those of us that leave…we are fighters. We are willing to take hits for our former sins. We are willing to stand up in places that are uncomfortable. We are willing to be bruised by others because we know that we have to…we know that will be the price we pay…it just hurts more when the bruises come from those who should be rejoicing in our repentance. We are passionate. We don’t waste time beating around the bush…not when it comes to life…especially the lives that we helped take.
Those of us that have worked in the industry all live our lives with a constant burden. One that will not be free from us until we reach heaven. We can’t let our burden slide off of our shoulders…it is what keeps us on fire. It reminds us of why we fight so hard. We have seen death and evil in a way that most haven’t…and we participated. We are forgiven.
So, should I be able to “breathe the same air as you?” That’s not really up to me to decide. But if you say things like that, know that a small piece of our heart is broken. But even if you break our hearts, we forgive you. Even if you bruise us, we forgive you. He who has been forgiven much, loves much. And we love a lot.