A couple of days ago I read a challenge on a blog I follow – Single Dad Laughing. I have to admit, I don’t get around to following his posts every day, but this one caught my attention.
A year ago, he posted a rather lengthy blog: “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.” As you can imagine, it generated a lot of discussion…all along the spectrum of viewpoints. This year, he posted some of the responses he had received…again, all along the spectrum. You can read them here.
I’ve appreciated the message, and responses…and the challenge. What do I believe is most important? What would I say to the world? What do I say?
I am a follower of Christ…in fact, I am a minister. I am also the sister of a gay man and the wife of a bisexual man. I am a daughter, a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, an aunt…
There are many roles I play in life. But I hope that in all of them I build on the foundation of love. Not the sappy, shallow emotion that is so often depicted as love. That can so easily be derailed…be lost and turned into something else.
No, the love I believe we all need is the kind of love that I think Jesus showed–at least according to my reading of the scriptures.
He spent a lot of time with those who were marginalized…ostracized…on the fringes. He didn’t preach at them–he loved them in a way that helped them see themselves as people of worth…and that is what transformed them.
He spoke his harshest words against those who were judgmental–who pointed the finger at others without seeing their own faults.
And when he was asked what was most important, he had a simple answer:
- Love God with everything you have in you.
- Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Everything else that the religious leaders thought was so important–EVERYTHING ELSE–was dependent on that foundation.
What would happen if we lived that way? That doesn’t mean that we have to change our beliefs…or become wishy-washy. It doesn’t mean “anything goes.” We would still have disagreements…different perspectives…a variety of beliefs. We would still have loud arguments.
But we would also be connected with ties that bind us together…that help us realize that we’re in this world together and need to work together…to find places of commonality and agree to live in the uncertainty of those places where we disagree.
The violence that we inflict on each other has to stop! It doesn’t matter if it’s verbal violence…or physical violence…or war…or hatred…or any of the myriad other forms violence takes. It HAS to stop.