Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Here Goes Nothing

This is probably a good time to mention that my blog is not affiliated with my church; these words are all mine.

There’s been a lot on my mind the last couple of weeks, and if I don’t get out some feelings and ideas on paper, then I have several more sleepless nights ahead of me.
So, here goes issue #1—The Chick-fil-A Controversy
Well, kinda.  We were so wrapped up in steam engines, Ferris wheels, carousels, dinosaurs, driving, dinosaurs, driving, and more dinosaurs, and more driving on vacation with our family that we missed the Chick-fil-A uproar.
Days later, as I saw more and more Facebook attention, I finally asked my husband to look it up and see what it was about.  But, honestly, the news story, the facts, the quotes, the interview doesn’t matter much to me.  You can call me naïve and uninformed if you want; really, that’s okay.
What does matter to me is the way I’ve watched friends, family, and fellow Christ followers react.  And this keeps me up at night.  There will always be issues—cultural, moral, value issues for Christ followers to wrestle with and take stands on and converse about.  Where I am, where I have come, is to a place where the issues matter, but where our behaviors, our hearts, our words, and our attitudes matter more.
There’s a whole lot I don’t have figured out.  The issues of homosexuality, homosexuality and the church, civil unions, gay marriage—I don’t pretend to have those figured out.  Many of you have it figured out; it’s black and white and easy to you.
But have you talked with the mother of a teenager who has just come out?  Have you heard her fears over what her child’s future looks like, especially in this hick town in the south? (Disclaimer, I generally love this hick town in the south.)  Have you heard her say she always expected this day was coming, but hadn’t given voice to that in these 16 years?
Have you talked with a teenager who has been keeping her thoughts and feelings secret for years?  Have you heard her fear that the father who has adored her every day of her life will have nothing to do with her once he finds out?  Have you lived with that kind of anxiety?
Have you talked with a competent, intelligent, professional man who is humiliated, belittled, and dehumanized by conversations about whether or not it’s safe to let him direct cars where to park in a church parking lot because he may be gay, or he may not; he’s trying to figure that out in a Christian community?
No, you haven’t.  Because those three people above wouldn’t have those conversations with you.
I've been honored to have those conversations.  I've been honored that those secrets, fears, and hurts have be shared with me.  They were shared with me, because those people knew that no matter where I stood on the issues, I would love them as the children of God He created in His image.  They knew that I would stand with them and walk with them through the questions, the doubts, and the hate that was headed their way.
If flocking to Chick-fil-A (couldn’t help the pun) makes you feel like you’re taking a stand, or if kissing someone of the same gender at Chick-fil-A makes you feel like you’re taking a stand, then fine.
What makes me feel like I’m taking a stand is sitting down, shutting up, and listening.
I may one day learn that I should’ve made decisions on the issues instead of living in the gray area. 
But I rest on a few truths:  God created each of us, as his child, in his image.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

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