‘By his wounds you have been healed,’ writes St. Peter. ‘For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.’
There is a song that was written by artist and musician Michael Corsini, a good friend of mine and a team member of our post-abortion healing apostolate, Entering Canaan. He wrote the song with his wife, Jessie. The name of the song is “Waiting in the Wound.” It was conceived from a trauma Jessie experienced in her youth and the graces she received at a retreat in recognizing that Christ was with her even in that time.
It has become one of my favorite songs.
From the first time I heard Mike play it at one of our Entering Canaan Mercy retreats it spoke deeply to my heart about my own experience of abandonment and the trauma of a coerced abortion I had in my teens. It also spoke deeply to the hearts of the other women at the retreat.
The lyrics of the song proclaim the presence of God through our wounds and abandonment. The lyrics say, “You were waiting in the wound that I hide from you.” A beautiful realization of finally knowing we are never alone, no matter what the circumstances.
In the case of abortion it is not unusual for many to hide their abortion wounds for decades, or even for their entire lives. I know I never wanted to go there. I was terrified to look, to find out what I was, and many who do share think that their feelings are not legitimized. They often feel judged, validating the way they feel about themselves. I know I felt unforgiveable, full of the shame and guilt that causes us to turn in on ourselves, making us blind to the love and mercy available to us through Jesus Christ.
I will never forget one such woman. Her name was Fiona. She was 90 years old when she reached out for healing from three abortions she had had 60 years earlier. Fiona was living with an abusive alcoholic husband and did not see how she could possibly bring another child into the world. Afraid and alone, with other children to care for, she terminated her pregnancies — but she thought of them every day of her life. She had not told a soul for over 60 years until she reached out to us. She sat in silent suffering.
Fiona did not know Christ was waiting in the wounds that she hid from him. As she began to experience his mercy through the ministry, she found renewed hope in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for her sins, a knowledge of his deep love for her and an anticipation of meeting her children in heaven.
He calls us to find him there. May we each venture into our wounds proclaiming to Christ, as in the song: “And I love you for waiting.”
Theresa Bonopartis is the co-developer of “Entering Canaan – a Sacramental Journey to an Inheritance of Mercy,” a post-abortion ministry published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.