How Two Brave Letters Inspired Me (And Made Me Hungry For Pancakes)

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 whyWhy 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!”

I digress.

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.

 

 

9 thoughts on “How Two Brave Letters Inspired Me (And Made Me Hungry For Pancakes)

  1. I can’t speak about sin because I don’t feel qualified to do so. I do feel qualified to speak about love, however. The relationships I’ve built will be my legacy in this world.

    Thanks for sharing our letters and now you owe me pancakes!

    • Vikki, the longer I follow Jesus, the less qualified I feel to comment on sin unless it’s my own. I think you’re right about your legacy.

      I’d happily have you over for pancakes!

    • Heather, I took my time responding to your comment because I’m not sure how to respond to it. I don’t feel good. I can’t say that I love as I ought, but I really want to. I know I probably still hold to some viewpoints that are mistaken or wrong. I’m not moving as fast toward just plain love as some would like; I’m not staying in place as I should, according to others. But all I know to do is keep bringing my weird, broken heart back to God every day and ask Him to please keep fixing it. I hope people will have patience with me as I keep trying. The responses you & Vikki wrote to me were so gracious. I appreciate y’all’s kindness and example.

  2. Thank you for sharing these awesome two letters and for your perspective as well. I love the notion that the words aren’t for us. We ascribe such importance to our own actions and reactions even though God’s made clear what he wants us to be doing. Make disciples of all men. Love one another. Love Him. I try to look at every opinion I voice, every action I take through those lenses: will be people see God, and more importantly come to him as a result of this thing I’m doing/saying? That’s all I’ve been asked to do

    I think you also raise an interesting question about where morality and religion intersect in the law. Much of our law is obviously based in morality, but those things are (almost) universally agreed upon: it’s not good to kill someone, it’s not good to take someone else’s belongings, etc. I like morality in my law. The ambiguity of religion, however, is not a strong starting point for the courts. Like Heather mentions, people can back up nearly any position with sound biblical research and I think when we try to translate what one person’s heart hears in scripture to black letter law, we risk the hearts of many others. As I’ve often said to people who are adamant about adding a God chapter to the law library: God doesn’t NEED us to make weak laws to “uphold” his word. We just aren’t that good!

    (And anyway, I agree that this laser focus on homosexuality and a handful of other similar topics is silly. It’s just an organized denial that we’re all completely broken.) Thanks for sharing this!

  3. This is so beautiful, Jenn. The recent presidential election has elicited such an outbreak of argument with exceedingly narrow perspectives on these “hot topic” issues, even within my own extended family, and I am reassured to find others who are able to articulate the truth I’ve been feeling around for. I love your statement, “if these verses don’t convict you personally, then they are not for you!” We would all do well to spend more time focusing on getting the plank out of our own eye rather than working on the speck in our sister’s eye, right?

  4. Jenn

    It’s been too long since I have read your blog. This post, and the letters that inspired it, are amazing. Thank you for sharing, and we need to catch up soon.

    Much love,

    Andrew

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