“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)
Elizabeth Bellinger’s performance of her poem, “The Scarlet Letter” (also called “Atoned”), had me in tears. It spoke to me on a personal level because I was once the speaker of this poem.
Sometimes, we do things that in our minds, and in the opinion of the world, is unforgivable. Abortion is murder. What kind mother kills her own child? You were blessed with bringing a human being into this world and you selfishly told God no. How could He forgive you?
But here’s the thing: He can and will forgive you. Non-believers always talk about how God is a wrathful and vengeful God, but they forget that He is also loving and that throughout the Bible we will find verses of His forgiveness of our sins against Him.
Psalm 103:12: “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Isaiah 43:25: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
Micah 7:18-19: “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”
Matthew 26:28: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Acts 3:19: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”
Ephesians 1:7: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
So even though I and anyone else who had that scarlet A for abortion painted across our chests, hated ourselves for what we’d done, we know there’s a God in heaven who loves us and has forgiven us, whose son’s blood washed us clean of all our transgressions so that we are new creations in Christ and that the A on our chests now stands for Atoned.