“If we do not begin examining our wretchedness, if we stay lost and despair that we will never be forgiven, we end up licking our wounds, and they stay open and never heal. Instead there is medicine, there is healing, we only need take a small step towards God or at least express a desire to take it. A tiny opening is enough.” (The Name of God is Mercy, Pope Francis, pg. 57)
It is a hard thing for us to admit our wretchedness. The admission bursts the bubble of our false perceptions of ourselves forces us to see ourselves in truth. We do not want to believe that we could have ever done something so terrible. It is all too common a refrain, “I cannot believe I had an abortion.”
We want to believe the best of ourselves. Humility is not easy, so we continue to fight to find an answer, any answer that would justify the truth of our sin. The trouble is abortion cannot be justified. The paradox lies in seeing ourselves in the truth and realizing our need for God is what heals us in the end. That which we dreaded the most is the answer.
Some people still refuse to let go. They become comfortable in despair and even may find some pleasure in “licking the wounds” caused by abortion. It becomes familiar, and stillness in familiarity is easier than a leap of faith. It’s easier than change that ultimately comes with truth, especially if you were betrayed by those you loved.
I think that many post abortive persons, understandably, get stuck in this place, but as Pope Francis says, “a tiny opening is enough.”
God knows it is scary, that is why He shows us His mercy towards sinners over and over in scripture. The adulteress woman, the prodigal son, and the woman at the well… all sinners are shown His mercy.
Are you stuck in your healing? Are you comfortable licking your wounds? Just crack the door a tiny bit! Invite God in, with sincerity of heart, in spite of your fears. He won’t disappoint you and you just may find that the comfort and peace of healing is much better than licking your wounds!