Today, I want to address my gay friends and family members. Last week I read something that brought me to tears. I read a story..I think it was a true story..about a Christian man who expressed deep regret and sorrow over his brother.
His brother was gay..and instead of showing his brother love, he spoke words of hatred towards him.. As it turned out, his brother committed suicide shortly thereafer. The man said he has lived with regret for his entire life for the way that he treated his brother. He said in his writing that he wishes he would've just shown his brother what unconditional love looks like.
Last week, I saw something that touched my heart. A group of Christians from Chicago attended a gay pride rally. They weren't there to protest. They had t-shirts and signs, but I was suprised when I read them... Can you guess what they said?
I'm sorry... "I'm sorry for the way the church has treated you." I read the story and the story said that there was a gay man in the parade. He was dancing on top of a float. The Christian group got his attention..and showed them their t-shirts and signs that said they were sorry. What followed was beautiful.
The man got down off of his float, went to the member of the group who got his attention and embraced him in a bear hug. He said, "thank you." The story goes on to show that the man in the parade's name was Tristan. The Christian group asked him his name.
I think what I really love the most about this story is that it could've turned out differently. A Christian group could've been there attacking Tristan...but instead.. There was a group that said I am sorry for all of the hatred that you the church has shown you.
We, so often throw our rocks..all rocks do is hit people in the forehead and cause huge gashes on the brain.
But when we make the decision to humble ourselves and love...well, that gets people's attention. People take notice.
Tristan took notice that day. How often do we go through life failing to learn people's names because their lives don't look like ours. But aren't they "our neighbors" ? Isn't a neighbor the person sitting or standing or living right next to you? The last time I checked..there wasn't any red tape on God's command to love. I know it doesn't mean that we have to approve of someone's lifestyle..we don't have to condone it or make provisions for it...but the command to love..the call of love is unmistakeable.."Love others even as I have loved you," God whispers.
I guess I'm writing this because I have known a lot of gay people throughout the course of my life. When I was 18, I had a mad crush on a guy named Edward. We were coworkers at a restaurant. He actually gave me a Valentine's day gift and took me out to Taco Bell. Taco Bell doesn't sound too romantic, but there was something sweet about it. He was a dead ringer for the young Patrick Swayze. I could tell that something was troubling him from the one and only time we went out. He told me a few weeks later that he was gay. I didn't love him any less. We were friends but then he ended up quitting his job and we lost touch. Lately, I have tried to find him, but to no avail.
I keep recalling our conversation about how his father treated his horribly. Edward grew up feeling like his father didn't really care about him. Edward grew up with a lot of discipline in the form of the "belt" but very little love.
I love Edward. I love my gay cousins. I love people regardless of what choices they have made.
God loves people too. So often we talk about agape love..We say that agape love is the love of Christ..and it means to love unconditionally, as He did. But are we loving unconditionally?
I don't have to agree with what you do behind closed doors. I won't tell you that it's right. But I can and WILL still love you from a deep, pure hearted love. Something unconditional.
I can still wear a message on my heart that says.."I am sorry for the way that you have been treated."
The other day I was thinking about the ways in which we define ourselves. Before I came to Christ, I defined myself as kind of an emo girl. I was hurt, scarred, bruised, and flat out broken. My face had been kicked down in the dirt ..so much so...that I had a mouth full of mud. I drowned myself in music. I let my hurt define who I was. But as I truly began to know Christ..He defined me.. He took all of that hurt and made it into something new. He defined me by the relationship I have with Him and the love that he put in my heart for those around me.
I guess I'm writing this to let you know that Christ loves you. He wants to define you. He wants to define each of us..
When I was a teenager, I was in love with the rock band Queen. I loved the lead singer, Freddie Mercury. I had almost every cd..I knew the words to every song. Freddie Mercury was gay. He died in 1991 from AIDS. I watched an interview he did in the days or months before he died. His one regret was that he had never known love. He said that he had lived an interesting life. He had been entertained, so to speak..but he had never met anyone, with the exception of a female friend..who had really and truly loved him. Part of me wishes I could go back in time and show Freddie Mercury what the unconditional love of Christ looks like.
Part of me is afraid to post this.. This is a sensitive issue. I wonder if a bevy of people are going to come forward and tell me that I'm wrong. The truth is that I believe that sin is wrong. Lies are wrong. Hypocracy is wrong. Speaking God and speaking Christianese and then living something different is wrong. Sexual sin is wrong. Thievery is wrong. Failure to listen and obey God is wrong. Isn't God's goal for us to lead us into His ways and carve us into the image of His Son?
Didn't Christ come not for the righteous but to save sinners? I can say that because I was once a sinner. I still am aware of my sinful nature. The more I reach out and see Christ, the more aware I become of my sinful nature...I am more aware that the world seems like it's sinking. Morals have declined. Hyprocracy is rampant. Lies drip off the tongue without hesitation. Not many are showing the true Christ. It's time that humble ourselves and show Him.
Feedback is welcome. I love you, friends.
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
- Luke 7:41 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).