I read two letters yesterday that are brave, honest, loving, and made me hand-shaking nervous to read. I can’t even imagine how nerve-wracking they were to write.
Heather wrote the first one to her friend Vikki.
Vikki wrote back to her friend Heather.
Sharing these online may make some people upset. I get that. There aren’t many topics that seem to rile people up more than homosexuality. Abortion, yes, probably. I hear people argue these topics with passion, so I know they mean the world to many people.
What I’m having a harder time understanding lately, when it comes to homosexuality, is why. Why does it personally offend a great deal of the Christian community? I asked a few people this, not as a survey, just conversationally, and the answer came back unanimously, “Because it’s a sin.”
Yeah, okay. (I know there are arguments and counter-arguments about it being a sin or not, and the resolution of that debate is not going to happen on my tiny little blog, so that’s not where I’m headed.) But even if that’s the starting point you come from, that it’s a sin, I still don’t get why it’s what we’re worked up about.
We don’t go ballistic over rage. Domestic violence, child abuse, road rage, even tempers flaring in our own homes in ways that are not violent but certainly don’t build our relationships – none of these things catch our collective imagination in the same way, and there’s no question rage is a sin.
Greed. Jealousy. Gossip. Slanderous talk. Pride. Even adultery. None of these things make us picket. Well, maybe greed, if you count “Occupy Wall Street,” but that wasn’t a primarily Christian movement, that I know of. Although it could be. Can’t you just see the signs? “IT WAS ADAM AND EVE, NOT ADAM AND THIEVE!”
My point is, I think we have forgotten two things. One, every gay person is a person. A person Jesus loves. Not loves on the condition that they’ll act the way we think Jesus wants them to act. Just loves.
Two, if the verses that speak about homosexuality don’t convict you personally, then they’re not speaking to you. I know a couple of people who I sincerely believe do not have anger issues. I have known them for years, have seen them in their best times and worst times, and rage does not spill forth. So verses about rage are not taped up on their mirror, memorized and prayed over daily. They have other issues, to be sure, but they don’t spend a lot of time on rage.
Maybe we could all treat the handful of verses that refer to homosexuality that way. Maybe, if it’s not to us, we could just agree to let the verses do their work, whatever it may be, without our help. Because guess what? We’re not doing a very good job “helping.” We’re like a three-year-old making pancakes by herself. Ingredients are everywhere, there’s a big mess all over the counter, the floor is sticky, the pans are all scattered and floury, and it’s going to take way longer to clean up than the three-year-old has the attention span for. And we still don’t have anything remotely resembling pancakes.
I applaud Heather and Vikki. Two people. Two friends, bridging the gap and dealing with each other with grace and good humor. Actually making delicious, albeit metaphorical, pancakes by listening to each other and accepting the person in front of them. I hope to be more and more like each of these brave women.