The Burner is friends with this guest poster on Facebook–a worship pastor at a non-denominational church in Lubbock, Tex. This guest posted this last night on his Facebook wall.
Today I was hugged by a gay person wearing a rainbow American flag.
And so far I have not died or turned gay myself.
You may ask “how did this happen?” As it turns out, I accidentally/sorta chose to go to Chick-Fil-A today–partly to support free speech, partly to make sure all the “christians” weren’t being obnoxious turds, and mostly to eat some freaking awesome chicken.
Of course the drive through line was long. So i took it as opportunity to teach my children (who are 11 and 9) about the balance between free speech, love, respect, and all sorts of other awesome things.
It hadn’t occurred to me until I drove up to the store that there would be protestors.
As we spent the 35mins patiently waiting in line, I read the signs and watched several folks (assumably LGBT, but not necessarily) peacefully protesting and holding signs, which is as much their right as is it is Dan Cathy’s right to proclaim his beliefs whether or not he runs a public retail food store. Anyway, what I heard while going through the line saddened my heart and made me ashamed to call myself “Christian.” (TO BE CLEAR: I will never be ashamed to call myself a follower of Christ, but I am making a clear distinction between those who do the work of the Kingdom, and love as Christ loved vs. people who say they are christians but live like they aren’t. To be fair, I am also making an assumption that the insults came from mostly “Christian” people, and this may or may not be the case.)
Regardless, I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to show some sort of kindness to the protestors, but had really no way to say or express what was/is in my heart.
Honestly, I do believe that sin is ugly and tears us away from God, and that actively participating in homsexuality is a sin. But, so is hate, pride, arrogance, lust, lying, cheating, stealing, and a host of other things that are no more or no less sin. All of these things tear us away from the heart of God. So that brings me to the place that I am right now. I do not have any great answers, and I don’t know any solutions as of yet. The only thing I know to do is love–and not the “love the sinner, hate the sin” kinda love that probably all LGBT people are sick of hearing–real true love, that gets messy and dirty with people where they are. That shows kindness even when you may fundamentally disagree about faith/sexuality/race/whatever.
And picking up the story where I left it… After asking God for words or something to say as I waited for my food, I felt compelled to share with those protesting that I was sorry that some people (not all of course) were hurling insults and ridicule. I didn’t have any other thing to say but, “I love Jesus, and I love you guys. I am sorry.” As I spoke, I became overwhelmed and started to cry.
To my surprise, a woman who wore a “gay” american flag came to me and hugged me as to comfort me.
I was undone.
Here I was trying to show kindness, and it was being shown to me.
Although she had no idea that I am not a big hugger unless I know you and we are VERY close…
Either way, it set my heart on fire.
I still do not know how to process this.
I do not know where to go from here.
All I know is that it can never be an US vs THEM mentality (from either side.) Division is never going to help anyone. Choose Love. Start a rEVOLution. And maybe things can change…
Finally, to the rainbow caped crusader, I’d love to actually have a conversation with you and your friends where I wasn’t trying to communicate through tears and broken words. Thank you for your kindness to me today. I have no idea if you use FB or not, but should you, let’s talk.
You can read the post and the subsequent comments in its original form here.
UPDATE: Through the magic of Facebook, the ‘caped crusader’ did contact the author and