“Yes. I hired a man to kill my child.”
I am a lawyer. I have practiced criminal law for thirty-two years. If I heard these words from a criminal defendant, I would be chilled to the bone. Yet, I have uttered these very words myself. I have said them to priests, to others who suffer from guilt and to God Himself. That I have been able to face the truth of that statement touches the very heart of God’s Mercy.
When I was a young man, during law school, my girlfriend became pregnant as a result of my irresponsibility. I convinced her to have an abortion and I delivered her to the clinic and paid for the “procedure.” I hired a man to kill my child. I regretted it immediately, but it took me fifteen years to bring it to God. I still live with the pain and remorse associated with my decision, but it is bearable knowing that I am forgiven.
I have given my witness to God’s Mercy many times and in group settings of all sizes. It is always the same. I end in tears. How can He forgive me? How can my child forgive me? The answer is that with God, all things are possible. God loves us. We are His children and it is our faith in Him that brings us to His Love.
During Lent, it is important to recall our sins and to realize that no matter how far we have wandered from His Love, reconciliation is always possible. In fact, it is what He wants, to be reconciled with us, to be reunited with us in His Love and Mercy. Each Lent I try to remember that awesome truth.
God is love. He loves us unconditionally and He wants us to love one another and, especially, He wants us to love ourselves. This much, I have come to believe. Lent is the perfect time to love ourselves enough to bring our pain, our suffering and our sins to God. He is waiting to welcome us home.