March 28, 2013

Above All Else

Here’s the thing.

I am a Christian, and I consider myself to be a person of deep faith. I come from a VERY conservative background, and I still live by the values and morals that were instilled in me by my amazing parents and family. I know who my Savior is, and I pray to Him every single day. I seek His guidance and counsel to lead me along the right path. God…well…HE knows I am a hopelessly flawed sinner, but by the power of His amazing grace, I know He still loves me. Powerful stuff.

Given all of the above, you might make assumptions about where I stand on marriage equality…and you would probably be wrong.

The struggles that our homosexual brothers and sisters face were put on my heart even before I realized I knew any homosexual people. I don’t know why. My only explanation is that God put it there. Even as a teenager in Columbiana, Alabama, I found myself being drawn to support gay rights and constantly struggling with the fact that this seemed contradictory to my faith-based background.

How could this be?
Where does this feeling come from?
I’m not gay!
I don’t even know any gay people! (Of course, I did, but I just didn’t know it yet.)

In college, these feelings only grew stronger, as I made several out and proud homosexual friends. In grad school, I did a project in my Multicultural Counseling class in which I had to choose a population of which I was not a member, and experience as much of that culture as I could. Some of my classmates chose to immerse themselves in cultures of racial or geographical difference. Still others spent a week in a wheelchair or blindfolded. You get the idea. I (and a few others in the class) chose to focus our assignment on homosexual life. With the help of a friend and classmate, I explored places and read things and went to meetings that I never would have experienced otherwise. It was eye-opening, and it only deepened my resolve to support the LGBTQ community.

Still the internal struggle continued. I prayed and prayed and prayed on it. I still do. How/why do I feel so differently about these issues than so many of my Christian brothers and sisters including members of my own family? As Christians, we are commanded to put our faith in our Almighty Father, even when we don’t understand His mysterious ways.

Why do bad things happen to good people? No idea.
What difference does prayer make if God already knows our struggles and the help that we need? I don’t know, but I do it every day and I know it works.
Why does the duck-billed platypus look so goofy?! I mean, really! Look at this thing!

Clearly, I’m no theologian. I can’t really answer any of those questions with certainty. I just don’t know. But isn’t that the beauty of how He works in us? We don’t have to have the answers. We don’t have to know why. We just have to have faith, and above all else LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

It was when I had that epiphany that I realized, I don’t have to know why God put this issue in my heart…but I do have to accept it and go where He leads me. There’s no other explanation for why I feel so strongly about marriage equality and gay rights in general. I have no answer to the question I’ve gotten several times, “How can you call yourself a follower of Christ and openly support such things as gay marriage?” I know all of the scripture that those who oppose homosexuality quote to prove their point, and I know the counter arguments. I read my Bible every day, and there are parts of it I know I will never understand, but I also know that I don’t have to understand.

As hard as I’ve tried, I can’t come up with an answer for how or why loving anyone could ever be wrong. That was His greatest commandment to us, after all. I don’t believe that being gay is a choice any more than I chose to be left handed. God made ALL of us, and God doesn’t make mistakes! We are who we are, and we are ALL precious in His sight. There are so many people whom I dearly love who fall on absolute polar opposite sides of this issue. I’m not writing any of this to convince anyone to see things my way. I just want to make it clear where I stand, and I hope you’ll continue to love me anyway.

This is who I am. A God fearing, Jesus following, left-handed, supporter of marriage equality and gay rights. And as confusing and contradictory as it may seem, I passionately believe, fully and whole-heartedly, that God led me to this position, and who am I to question Him?

Today is Maundy Thursday in the holiest week of the year for the Christian faith. This is the day that Jesus gave his disciples his last commandment - “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13: 34-35)

I can think of no better way to celebrate the sacrifice and grace of my savior, than to celebrate any and all forms of love. That’s how He and everyone else will know that I am His.

4 comments:

Manda_Panda said...

So beautiful and eloquent. I love you!!

Anonymous said...

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Myka said...

THANK YOU! I am a new Christian and I feel the same way! The number one thing (rule, guideline, whatever) that has stuck with me is that we are supposed to love ALL despite what they believe or who they love.

As for the anonymous post above. Duh, yes, we know. But if you aren't Christian, then none of that matters to you and we can't expect everyone to live by our truth but by their own. In the end it's not up to US who ends up where. It's up to HIM.

Anonymous said...

https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

 

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