He practically screamed the word “murderer”. The sermon had been about Mary, the mother of Jesus, but for nearly fifteen, very long minutes, it had become a monologue about the evil horrors of abortion. Sitting in the back of the large auditorium-style church, I noticed a young woman get up and quietly leave. I decided to follow her.
She was standing outside in the chill of the early morning. As I opened the door, she turned towards me. Not knowing what else to say, I said, “I’m sorry”. That’s all it took for this young woman, with sad, dark eyes to begin crying.
I wonder how many women come to church for healing and forgiveness and leave feeling more condemned? Every time pastors mention abortion, know this, abortion has touched the lives of nearly every person in the sanctuary. Either a woman has had one, or knows someone who has. Yes, it was wrong. It was a bad choice. But a shadow has fallen over their lives, and they need help getting into the light again.
Churches need to balance grace and truth. Pastors can hammer the truth about abortion’s atrocities and evil. However, they need to offer twice the amount of grace for women sitting there wondering if God could ever forgive them.
Every pastor should attend at least one abortion recovery meeting to get a glimpse into the mindset of broken and hurt women. They should see how abortion has altered their view of their worthiness. When anything goes wrong in their lives, these women tend to think that God is punishing them and will do so the rest of their lives.
Before pastors rebuke women for abortion, they should first have an abortion recovery group in place in their church. And every church needs to be a place of hope, shining the light on God’s forgiveness. Jesus would ask no less.
One more thing, Mother’s Day is a sad reminder to millions of women who’ve had an abortion. Yes, they remember. They know how old their child would have been. So churches and pro-life groups, you can share the truth about abortion and its evil, but there’s something equally as important—Jesus needs you to be His arms, enveloping all these hurting women with His amazing grace.