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January 22, 2009

Getting Out of Guilt’s Grip

On this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I just want to give a shout out to the great work that Michaelene Fredenburg is doing over at her Abortion Changes You website. This isn't a political website. This is for those who are struggling with the emotions after an abortion, whether it be recent or in the distant past, whether it be the woman who was pregnant, the child's father, or the people connected to them.

I've been thinking a little bit lately about how guilt is sometimes harder to shake than grief. It seems when we are grieving, people are more ready to put their arms around us and say it is going to be okay. Their touch is a way in which we feel God's touch.

But when we are feeling guilty, even if we've confessed that wrong to the Father, we rarely get the same kind of human-level interaction where another person looks you in the eye and reminds you that if you have confessed and repented, God really has forgiven you. This is one of the reasons reconciliation is so important when there is a possiblity of it. But when loss or distance or other circumstances separate us from those whom we've wronged, it can be hard to know in that deep experiential way--in that cleansing, setting us free way--that we are truly forgiven. That's one of the reasons I'm glad Michaelene is working on creating a virtual community. It's also a good reminder that we as the Body have a role to play in helping people deal with guilt as well as grief.

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In the Missouri Synod we -do- have that. In every service, and available apart from that, too.

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