Thursday, August 26, 2010

what matters most to you?

I've been having an email conversation with a friend. She's known all her life that she's gay. She has fought this all of her life. She is preparing to tell her truth and to therefore be disowned by her family. She is ready to be honest.

My response to her?

I love you. I'm sorry you're hurting.

The End.

I just finished watching the conversation between Jennifer Knapp (a Christian artist and a lesbian) and Pastor Bob Botsford on Larry King Live. It left me itchy. Whatever your beliefs about homosexuality, I'm confused at what point a person finds themselves the authority, the one to say, Choose between Christianity and your sexuality.

I'm a Christian, and I know this is a hot button issue in my faith community. Sometimes I'm just not so sure why we're even talking about it. Why are we so focused on it? As Christians, what "should" we be focusing on?

Derek Webb asks some good questions...
(if you don't like swears, don't watch it)

As usual I love the point that's made through this song, that we're so focused on the wrong things. Please tell me, if a person is expending their little left-over energy on another person's moral choices, how do they have room for the sick and the poor and the orphan and the widow?

Sometimes I wish we all could sit together the exact same way we alcoholics sit together. If we did, I'm certain we'd have no room in our hearts for judging lifestyles. Those hearts would be so filled with the power of mercy and a holy redemptive freedom, we would go mute. There would be a lull in the crowd, mouths agape, standing in awe of love. We would see each other the way Christ sees us and the words that follow the pointed finger would be held captive by grace.

I guess this makes me a grateful alcoholic who fully admits she doesn't have all the answers, and is too busy learning to love and be loved to pass my time digging around in the lives of others in an effort to be right out of fear.

I want to transcend, to rise above all of this. I really do. To be a friend to my friend, and that is all.

Pastor Bob says that "sin is not ruling my(his) life," and that Jennifer is "not allowing Jesus Christ to reign over her life."

This is what gets me. Those very words. Those beliefs. It hurts. I hurt for my friend and I hurt for me. Because had people known about my addiction and had they told me, "Sin is ruling your life Heather"...I highly doubt it would have helped me, even if they were right to some degree, a degree I can't claim to fully understand. It would have left me hurting, even if they added, I tell you this because I love you.

I'm pretty sure my heart's response would have been something like, Okay. Now what am I allowed to tell you? Should I point out the way you believe you hold some higher authority, some right to point fingers? Have you ascended beyond having sin rule over your life? What are you not seeing about yourself if can say such things? Unless you can honestly say you're perfect, it's very difficult to find the dividing line between the sin-ruled life and the life Jesus reigns in.

If a man walks into a meeting with fellow alcoholics and says that he's relapsed and cannot stop. If he smells of whiskey with a touch of red wine, what happens?

Open arms, friends. Open arms. We're glad you're here today. That is the only response. And that is why the room is safe and holy, life-giving and life-changing. The change will come. After love.

I can't claim to know if homosexuality is a choice or a sin...I can't. I can't spend my energy looking over the arguments on both sides, arguments that both hold valid points and believable research. I don't think that's what I'm here to do. My friend's journey is her own, as is mine, and I simply love her for being her.

I just needed to get that off my chest.


sarah said...

Thank you for sharing this. I don't know your friend but I can bet a million dollars that she has hurt (a lot) at one time or another in dealing with being gay.

From personal experience, I will tell you that homosexuality is not a choice. It's with you from the day you were born. And the last person who's an expert on the topic is a straight Christian like Pastor Bob.

With that said, be a listening ear when you can be. She'll probably want to talk it out in preparation of unveiling herself. And she'll probably need a listening ear after that. At the end of the day, we just want someone around who genuinely cares about us and has absolutely no intention of wanting to change us.

Sabrina said...

People too often try to play God. And point fingers and pass judgements. The thing is, Jesus loves everyone, that is his message. It's the second greatest commandment. Jesus came not to judge and condemn but to save and redeem and love his people. The least of these...
On a side note, I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer Knapp and I am glad that she is writing and singing again. Her music has always stirred something in me. I'm glad she is back.

MidnightCafe said...

"Please tell me, if a person is expending their little left-over energy on another person's moral choices, how do they have room for the sick and the poor and the orphan and the widow?"

This is such an important point. I once had someone say to me, while in the midst of a very ugly public falling-out with another Christian person, "You'd think if we only have so many arrows to shoot in this life, we wouldn't spend them shooting at each other." I've come back to that so many times. We waste our energy fighting each other, rather than fighting poverty, hunger, disease, loneliness, hate, injustice...

LoveFeast Table said...

You without sin...cast the first stone. I think that about sums it up. He stooped and took her posture, on the ground...he met her at her level...showed endless love, unconditional love, it was in that love she was freed to "go and sin no more". I'm thinking all we can do is follow His lead, take our brother and sister's posture, meet them where they are, and offer unconditional, no expectation love...that's it.

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