As I began to read Abby Johnson’s new book, “The Walls are Talking,” I couldn’t help but recall the words and the urgency I have heard in the voice of Ugandan Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe:
“I urge you to not sugarcoat evil.”
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, who runs a school for victims of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army, has seen with her own eyes the devastating consequences of violence, and she knows first-hand how important it is to face up to evil—to name it.
In a very real way, Abby Johnson’s new book is doing exactly that—courageously naming the tragic truth about the evil of abortion. And she does it by gathering a powerful collection of true stories from the lives of former abortion clinic workers.
“Those of us that have worked in the abortion industry all live with a constant burden. We can’t let our burden slide off of our shoulders; it is what keeps us on fire. It reminds us of why we fight so hard. We have seen death and evil in a way that most haven’t—and we participated. But we are forgiven. He who has been forgiven much, loves much. And we love a lot…
When I was confirmed as a Catholic, I chose Mary Magdalene as my confirmation saint. I felt an immediate connection to her. She had sinned so much—and was forgiven in even greater amounts. She knew she didn’t deserve forgiveness—but she received it anyway. And because of this, she clung to Christ. She knew she was nothing without him.
Because they are personal accounts, the stories of “The Walls Are Talking” are, in a sense, a simple read. But they are not an easy read.
These stories will make you uncomfortable. And they should, because they don’t sugarcoat evil.
Ultimately, however, this collection of personal experiences is a proclamation of mercy. They are stories of hope -- because the truth is also that none of us deserve to be loved by God as fully and completely as we are. And all of us yearn for His forgiveness and Love.
One of the last things that Sister Rosemary pointed out in her keynote address at the Catholic Media Conference in Buffalo is that, “Africa is being saved by African women” – women who were taken against their will as young girls and forced to commit atrocities against one another. And yet also women who know first hand that life can be changed, dignity can be restored, and forgiveness will always follow mercy.
I admire and pray for Abby Johnson and her ministry as she, too, hopes for the day when – paraphrasing Sister Rosemary’s words – the abortion industry will be saved by former “and repentant abortion providers.”
“Pray for those who have contributed to this book. Pray for their continued healing. And most of all, pray for those who have not converted yet. We are waiting for them with our warms wide open.”