Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12
I thought about this in light of a decision my faith community has just made. We were supposed to have a national meeting next year–preceding our international gathering the next year. This was to give us an opportunity to share and discuss issues related to homosexuality/marriage/ministry–issues that were raised at our last international gathering and discussion was postponed on….to wait for this national conference.
But now that’s been put off yet another year.
I think of my friends who have been hanging on, hoping for a resolution. In some ways they don’t even care which way the resolution goes–just for there to be a resolution so they can know where they stand in the church’s eyes. It’s not just members of the GLBT community who feel that–it’s also those who have a differing point of view.
But I’ll have to admit…my thoughts and concerns are more for my GLBT family and friends. They have spent years–in some cases a lifetime–waiting for my faith denomination to put into practice beliefs that have been preached for years:
- the worth of all persons
- the need to use the giftedness of all
- God’s calling to ministry
We have a strong belief that those who are called to ministry are called by God–and that ministry accepted by their jurisdictions. But in actuality, the way we live it out says “God, you made a mistake. You can’t possibly have meant to call this person–they’re not heterosexual! So we’ll take care of the mistake for you.” What arrogance!
We have a strong focus on peace–and yet somehow we don’t see that by not making a decision, we are only creating less peace.
I do understand that there are different perspectives on this issue–different interpretations of scripture…and I realize that there is probably never going to be a complete consensus on that.
At some point, we’re going to have to make a decision–personally and corporately. When we do–whatever decision is made–it’s going to be difficult. But at least then we will all know what to expect. We won’t keep hanging on–sometimes by our fingernails–hoping…and then finding hope deferred again.