Note: The following was written in reaction to a community event in Perham, MN where abortion was discussed. The following certainly does not seek to be neutral.
St. Henry’s Catholic Church blessed the Perham, MN community when they hosted the PALS Panel Wednesday night, January 29th. Five women from PALS; (Post Abortive Ladies) spoke for an hour-and-a-half to a nearly full sanctuary.
They shared how they had elective abortions and how abortion is not safe and nor is it a harmless choice. For years and in some instances for decades they grieved and sorrowed from the consequences of their decision. Alcohol, drug use, thoughts and attempts at suicide haunted them as they tried to mask and bury their pain.
Some wanted to die knowing God’s justice “…eye for eye, tooth for tooth…” (Ex 21:24). Others slashed themselves trying to pay for what they had done. Seated at a table on the Chancel it was beautiful and comforting to see from the pew suspended over them a most tender crucifix proclaiming the unconditional love God has for sinners in Christ. Our substitute on the cross Jesus, received the punishment of an “eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29, 36) was slashed and “… pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Is 53:5).
These women were healed by the unconditional forgiveness of Jesus who was punished in our place for our transgressions that we might have peace with God.
In kindness all in attendance received the witness of these ladies. There was no judgment, only mercy. The church, any church, is a place of refuge for hypocrites; i.e., sinners, and I include myself in this list of hypocrites. As Jesus said, “Those who [mistakenly think they] are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mk 2:17). Again, thank you to St. Henry’s Catholic Church for sponsoring these PALS women who shared a much needed message in our community, and, nation.
Rev. Karl Weber
St. John’s Lutheran, Ottertail
St. Paul’s Lutheran, Richville