Ok. I grew up where gay was something to be ridiculed and homo was the worst kind of insult. I’ve caught myself going back there. I remember when I really thought gay was bad. I don’t feel that way now. Somewhere along the way I lost that sense of wrongness. Was it the very outspoken gay kid in my high school who was expelled several times because he couldn’t use the boys’ bathroom and went to the girls’? Was it the time I spent with my boss’s two sons who taught me more than I ever thought I wanted to know about gay life in Dallas? Was it my work mentor who shared with me the pain caused by his forcing himself to marry a woman and father a child (who he loved with all his heart, by the way) because he was taught his feelings were wrong? I don’t know.
What I do know is this: my life and my faith have been made better and stronger by my gay & lesbian brothers & sisters in Christ. I know I am constantly lifted up by talking to my friend who will be an awesome minister. There is something about how God is at work in him that pours out onto everyone he meets. I know my soul is strengthened when I talk to or see the female couple who are filled to overflowing with God’s love and kindness. They foster kids and adopted a son. I know I learned a lot about God’s love when I walked in the halls of my daughters’ school and saw my own daughter wrote a piece declaring one of our gay church leaders her hero. I know it feels right and good to worship and learn about God’s love alongside these folks and my other gay brothers and sisters.
I’m reading 1 John 4:7-8 which says “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Also John 13:34-35 which says “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Both of these tell me I shouldn’t get caught up in whether or not homosexuality is a sin (I don’t buy it by the way) but I should love anyone, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, creed, ability, financial status, hair color, shoe style, whatever aside. I keep coming back to what has been my mantra when discussing whether gays should be “allowed” in church. Why wouldn’t the God of love want more love in the world? Why would God NOT want us to be Open & Affirming to EVERYONE?