This morning I’m irritated. I’m irritated because it’s way too hot for the end of June and I didn’t sleep worth a darn last night. I’m irritated because it’s only 9:15 and almost too hot to be on my patio.
This morning I’m also disappointed. I’m disappointed in myself and in people in general. Why?
Yesterday, June 26, 2015, our US Supreme Court ruled that all states must honor gay marriage. For the past 24 hours I have remained quiet on the issue, only checking a few “like” buttons on people’s FB posts. I’ve only checked those on which I know only a few people will see that I agreed with what they said…those whom share the same belief.
Thus enters my disappointment in myself. I’ve not felt strong enough to publicly expose my views on the topic of gay marriage. What will those who believe differently than I think of me? Will they publicly call me out on FB and possibly unfriend me? Will life-long friendships be lost because we disagree on an issue that I believe is tearing our nation apart?
Even as I type this I can feel a sense of anxiety coming over me.
Several years ago, an older gentleman came to my door asking if I was a registered voter. I told him I was. What transpired next shocked me on many levels. He was delighted to hear I was and instructed me to sign his petition. I calmly asked what the petition was about and then proceeded to tell him that I will absolutely NOT sign because I did not agree with it. He proceeded to tell me that was a shame and walked away from my doorstep. And that was that. I closed the door and realized that I had a very strong opinion on the issue. That was the beginning of me realizing that I don’t have to support what everyone thinks I should or says I should. I am free to believe in whatever I choose to support.
I am a Christ-follower and have been for 29 years. I’m not a deep theologian or master of the Bible. I’ve often joked during deep theological discussions with my brother that he is more “Charles Wesley” and I am more “Max Lucado!” ( No offense Max! Your writing is straightforward and easy for me to understand!) I would not say I’m very deep in my theological thinking but I love Jesus with everything in my being. I need things spelled out pretty plain and simple.
As a Christ-follower, I’ve always been pretty swayed by what I’m involved with. If the masses are believing it then I must as well. I’ve never really allowed myself to disagree with what everyone else is agreeing with. I’m a peace-maker and don’t want to rock the boat.
FB has become a place for people to share political and religious opinions. I totally stay away from politics. I might share a “religious” thought but have never told another person that what they believe is right or wrong. I just share my heart hoping to encourage one who needs it and leave it at that. I’m not scripturally strong, but love The Word. Can I quote it? Not much. Can I pull out a verse on the fly to make a point? Not really. but I’m okay with that.
Yesterday, FB blew up! Rainbows and #lovewins were and still are everywhere. Along with those are many scripture references and downright words of hate and malice. Thus my disappointment in people.
As I grapple with making my heart known publicly, I have resolved to NOT apologize for my beliefs, nor do I need to justify one way or another what I think and feel.
Am I risking friendships? Possibly.
Does that make my heart sad? Yes.
One apology that I will make is to my dear friends from many years ago in CA, Gabe and Michael. They had a marriage ceremony that I did not attend. I was opposed to what they were doing and I could not justify being there in support. (At that time I also only watched G movies as well…) I hear I missed a fabulous party! Today they are two amazing men sharing a life together with two amazing sons! To you, my friends, I’m sorry that my narrow-mindedness kept me from celebrating with you.
I am blessed with many friends. Black, white, native, fat, thin, young, old, single, married, divorced, widowed, gay, straight, happy, unhappy, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist…the list goes on. Regardless of the label or labels that each one may hold, they – no WE, are all people who love and desire to be loved.
I had a very dear friend come to me in tears years ago out at camp. She was dreading telling me something very important to her because I was a Christian and she was sure I would disapprove and no longer like her. She shared that she was a lesbian. I was so sad that she thought I would not still love her after hearing that. That was the beginning of my eyes opening up.
My world is full of people – gay and straight. I love them all! God has called me to LOVE with abandonment, no matter what. Love God and love people. I’ve watched my Christian brother and sister, along with their spouses grapple with the reality of a gay/lesbian child. When a belief system is rocked to the core, it’s difficult. All of them chose love. They chose to “stay in the room” with their children; loving and supporting all the way. That’s how it should be… in my humble opinion.
Sin is sin. We ALL struggle with it every day. Yes, God hates sin, but He DOES NOT HATE THE SINNER. If you are going to disapprove of someone because they want to legally be with the one they love, then disapprove of me… for I’m sure I’ve done something sinful that you disapprove of as well. Sin is sin… but love is what God calls us to do. In the words of a very wise young girl back when she was ten (she is now 13), ‘Why does it matter who you marry as long as you love each other?”
We will all have to stand before our Creator one day and account for all we’ve done. No one is exempt. I believe in my heart and mind, simple as it may be, that we have God in a box. Today I chose to love… no matter what lifestyle a person chooses. I’m elated for my family and friends who finally get to legally share a life with the one they love. I’m thinking out of the box and doing what God is calling me to do… Love regardless.