When I looked into her eyes, cradling her perfect little body, feeling her peace and perfectness, I knew, unequivocally, there was nothing this little girl could ever say or do to make me love her any less. It was at this moment, I got a glimpse of what I think God’s love is like for us. I can only imagine.
I am privileged to be part of an Open & Affirming congregation which is New Song Community Church in Columbus, Ohio. The little girl I spoke of, my daughter, is now almost 9. She is still just as perfect. As I have sat with her over the years, cradling her perfect little body, and now not so little body, I have dreamt of the world I would want her to see. That world is a world of love for one another. A world that respects others’ choices, lifts others up and celebrates love in all its wonder and beauty. Some “may say that I am a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” I know I am not the only one, because I get to be part of a congregation with the same vision.
I know my daughter has and will be exposed to a world that does not hold these hopes and dreams as my husband and I do. Our home is our safe place. It is our place to come and relax, rejuvenate and renew. It is the place we know we are loved, always. We do our best to make it a happy, peaceful & loving environment. For me, this is the only way I know how to make the vision of this world of love a reality. Likewise, it is important for me to have a church home which holds these values as priority. I want another place where my daughter, and her little brother, get to see how the world could be, if only we believed a little more and tried a little harder and intentionally put our agenda of love at the top of the priority list.
I am glad my children have a church where they can grow up to understand Jesus and His radical love agenda. A church that demonstrates that radical love and hospitality to all people. There are no strings attached or hidden agenda. It is a church where everyone can freely and openly be just who they are, perfect, children of God. I am glad the dream I have for my children can come true, because “I am not the only one”. Thank you, Rev. Yvonne Gilmore and my New Song family, for creating and being a church that embodies the radical love for everyone that Jesus demonstrated to us. I am blessed and proud to be part of such a loving and welcoming church family and am so thankful my children have a safe and loving church home, a place where they will always know they are loved and encouraged to love others, RADICALLY.