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I Guess I Prayed for Rain

October 14, 2011

It’s been raining today.  Pouring actually.  The rain began in the morning and hasn’t stopped all day.  I’ve sloshed my rain boots and car tires through puddles I didn’t know existed until the water rose up against me.  It hit me out of nowhere and left me soaking.  I’ve not been able to get dry.

I prayed really hard yesterday before writing my post about Jesus and gays.  I prayed really hard that I was representing my faith and my God and my heart well, that the words were coming out as they should.  I prayed my writing was coming from a place of peace in my heart, and a desperate desire to see our idea of Godly love change.  I prayed for sunshine and openness and caring.

But not unlike the weather, today I got rain.  I got some encouraging words from friends, but mostly patronizing questions from others.  Have I read my Bible?  What would God say after reading my post?  How can I say homosexuality isn’t a sin?  How can I ignore Scripture so blatantly?  And the list goes on and on and on.

It’s okay…I started the conversation, and I’m willing to have it.  But here is what I realized on my drive home:

We are having the wrong conversation.

Rather than spinning our wheels with this internal argument about whether or not Christians should agree or disagree about homosexuality, could we talk about building relationships first?  Our sermons and our podcasts and our seminars and books – they are all there to divide church goers down a polarizing line of black and white morality.  And where exactly does that get us in the ways of learning to show godly love?  If you think homosexuality is a sin, how should that matter in the way that you treat others?  Do you treat them with disdain, because they are sinners just like you?  Or if you think homosexuality is not a sin, how does that impact the way you act toward someone else?  Does that make you a nicer person, a friendlier Christian with no opinion at all?  Forcing each other into some sort of moral “camp” leads us nowhere.  All that this internal conflict is doing is creating something toxic, something nasty an unbiblical and certainly unflattering in the eyes of the community outside our holy walls.  Why are we spending so much time arguing over what it means to be gay, when we should just be talking first and foremost about loving people.  Befriending anyone.  Seeing a person first, as Christ did, rather than whatever scarlet letter you think they have stamped on their forehead.

The conversation, friends, needs to change.  I am no longer interested in the church’s “stance” on homosexuality.  That has no bearing on the people I want to have as a part of my life.  It has no bearing on how I try to show God’s love.  It has no bearing on my ability to listen and laugh and cry and hug a friend in need.  No bearing at all.  And yet, yet, this is the one topic of discussion where Christians give the impression that “it should.”  Because this is the one unforgivable “sin” that we see.  This is the one area of water Christians refuse to tread lest it be “healed” away.  This is the one exception to the rule of grace:  repent, or I will walk away.  Forgive me, but Jesus did not model that mentality for me.

I know this is not an easy conversation, and I know that just by writing these words, many friends will question my faith and commitment to God.  And that is just a sad, sad shame.  I think my heart hurts more today than it did yesterday because I am seeing the animosity, and I’m not even gay.  I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be gay and try to have a conversation with one of us.  To be automatically questioned.  To be instantly put on the defense.  To be treated and talked at like you have everything in the world to prove to the person across the table.  And if you can’t prove yourself worthy, then you are no longer a valid part of the conversation.  If that is our approach, dear friends, then we have this conversation all wrong.  All terribly, horribly, twistedly wrong.

The rain keeps falling outside my window.  It might continue to fall for a few more days. And that is okay.  It is okay to have the rain sometimes.  Without it, I may never feel the glorious effect of the sunshine.

And one day, one day, there will be sunshine.

There will be sunshine.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy G permalink
    October 14, 2011 11:08 pm

    AMEN! I shared your post yesterday with one of my gay friends who’s been hurt a lot by Christians. It breaks my heart.

    Have you ever read Andrew Marin’s “Love is an Orientation”? I think you might like it…he’s speaking at Gordon on Wednesday…class field trip?

  2. October 14, 2011 11:17 pm

    Lauren,
    I really enjoy your blog, you have always had such an eloquent way of putting your thoughts to paper. I find a lot of power and hope in your writings on Christianity and the gay community and I appreciate your ability to vocalize something I feel deeply. Please keep at it and don’t be discouraged by those who have not fully grasped that love. acceptance and forgiveness are the central and most important message from Jesus.
    I miss you friend! -Jen

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