I read it and stopped. Even shared it with my husband.
Because it made sense. I'll share it with you when I have time to digest it, make sense of it, and comment on it.
God's had me on this journey towards freedom over the years, slowly challenging my thought processes and baggage I was raised in, and transforming me.
i still don't get why he's chosen to do it in this environment of unrelenting pain in a relationship....
It's been a journey. It still is.
For some reason totally unknown to me, He's chosen to challenge my reaction to homosexuals - specifically lesbians. To bring me into contact with parents whose children have gone that way, with lesbians themselves. To show me them as people. Wonderful people. Loved people.
God did not love me any more than them. Or any less.
To show me them as people with feelings. Valid feelings, like I have. Mothers who love their children and worry about them. People in abusive relationships with pain. People who care for and protect others. To see my friend fight for and lovingly care for vulnerable older people with tenderness would warm your heart, too. People with a great sense of humor.
My one friend and I want to join the TV show, "The Amazing Race". We want to bill our team as "The Missionary and the Lesbian". :)
I'm blessed to have these friendships, especially in the environment of nursing. Sorry to all of you married to nurses and haven't realized this yet, but we talk to each other. About almost anything. I've come to the conclusion that it is a side effect of the fact that no topic is ever off limits for us in our daily jobs, so we get used to that.
I've been given the chance with my two friends (both married, but not to each other, to other women.) to be able to ask questions. Because I am a friend. Just as they may ask questions about me. I can ask what they like to be called. What offends them. When they made the decision to have children, and how that all worked. How they planned their wedding. What difficulties exist for them. How their relationships work.
I didn't get that chance by barraging them with questions, but by working alongside of them as friends. By sharing my life with them. By simply being friends.
And I pray. Not only for them, but for me. For understanding. For love. But they are easy to love. I want to be able to understand, to be able to have answers within myself first so I even know how to pray.
I hurt for them. Both of them previously married to men, to extremely abusive men, who they left. After they left, they "realized that they were lesbians" and came out, developed relationships with other women, and married them.
In some ways, I understand them.
I also realize that my two friends did not make a decision to be lesbian out of a sheer hate of God's laws and a desire to thumb their nose at God.
They made that decision out of prolonged, deep personal pain.
And I am not going to add to their pain by harshly judging them.
I will say, just so you all are clear, that I am not re-thinking my faith to the point that I say homosexuality is not wrong. It is wrong. Just like anger, greed, immorality, and stealing are wrong.
But I will not judge them in hate. I will not say that they must hate God because what they are doing. I don't believe they do. One has a belief in God and a desire to know Him. She is sinning. But so are my other colleagues who are out drinking and partying on the weekend and sleeping around. God doesn't make distinctions between sinners.
I want to understand their hearts, and what it is in any of us - because they are like us - that could cause us to make that decision. And, more importantly, what do they need to know about God that will allow them to begin to seek Him.
This article I read was the first one that spoke to those questions. That allowed me to think and say, "yes, this makes sense." I'll share it with you when I've re-read it and thought it through.
In the meantime, if I could speak to the church, I would want to say, "Love the next gay or lesbian person you meet. Smile at them. Defend their rights, protect them from harm. Get to know them - honestly, not from a superior attitude. You might surprise yourself and learn to love them. Jesus does."
I sometimes wonder if we as a church are more responsible for the over-the-top in-your-face attitude of some gays than we are willing to consider. If anyone lives in a culture of fear and hate for an extended period of time, it is going to have an effect on how they act. And all this crass display may just be a cry of pain of being so rejected so long that they're angry and hurt, and now they lash out in that and "get in our faces".
I know what that feels like - to want to lash out because I am tired of being judged and hurt.
What if we loved instead?