“I thought that by hanging on to my guilt and shame I was proving how much I really loved you.”
So said the mother in a letter written to her aborted baby.
It was a rare and privileged moment of grace, to be permitted into the sanctuary of a mother’s heart at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court; the very site thirty-seven years ago where the wheels for the greatest holocaust ever known in human history were set in motion.
We were gathered there yesterday with seventy mothers and fathers who were cheered on by over three hundred thousand marchers passing by shouting their love and affirmation. Hundreds stopped and pressed in at any given moment to hear from those victims of the great lie telling us their stories and vowing to be Silent no More. Click here to see video clips of these heroes before the Supreme Court.
Of all the moving testimony, that one quote from the mother’s letter to her baby stood out. It seemed to pierce the heart of the matter, the very essence of true forgiveness, genuine liberation. It was a lesson for us all.
How often in our relationships, when we hurt the ones we love, do we hold on to guilt and shame? As though such eternal guilt and shame is evidence of the depths of our love. Is this what our loved ones want for us? Eternal shackles? Do we demand as much from those who’ve hurt us?
No. As Saint Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13, love does not keep a record of wrongs, but rejoices in the truth.
The truth here is that these women and men were forgiven long before they knew it. They march not out of shame and guilt, but out of love. They march not for themselves, but for us. One by one they ascend the podium before the Supreme Court and with tearful remembrance flowing from hearts filled with love, they offer us their agony as a warning, and as the objective evidence that abortion’s victims are not only those left behind at the clinic.
Most of all, they offer us their stories as evidence that with God, all things are possible, that no sin is too great to be forgiven. That forgiveness is not merely the commutation of our sentence, but being restored to our full dignity as the royal sons and daughters of the great High King.
This mother taught us yesterday the lightness of being that comes with our Father’s merciful love.
She taught us how to be free.