Yes, I know it’s getting tiresome, my stringing along April’s A-Z Blogging Challenge. The month is, what?—almost July now—but I still feel enormous pressure to finish this challenge for a couple reasons. One, I don’t like abandoning such a great, fun exercise meant for my benefit. Two, I suffer extreme guilt because my writing club, positive their president would finish the task, prematurely awarded me this fantastic new coffee mug for accomplishing the A-Z writing challenge. I accepted it in the way of a person who’d just gotten credit for a dozen flowers she didn’t send. “Uh, wow… yes. Well, great,” I murmured as I snatched the gift and ran from the stage.
Talk about motivation.
So it’s with guilt and a sense of urgency that I push forward, setting aside paid writing and editing assignments, housework, washing my car, cleaning the litter box and shopping for food so that I may earn this coffee mug. I am on the letter “X” and so I give you… (Not so) X-Rated Love.
No, this isn’t a blog post about porn or affairs (though I suspect there’s a flight attendant somewhere who will manage to contrive her own meaning from this essay—she knows who she is); this is a story about homosexuals and, most specifically, how I, a Christian, feel about same-sex love (not X-rated, but many people treat it this way and I NEED a word for the letter “x”).
This essay can’t be reinforced with scripture and what the bible says about same-sex love because anyone who knows me well knows I’m still inching my way through “God’s love letter” to us and have not yet mastered the art of using scripture to prove points. But my ignorance, specifically, is what makes this so easy to write because biblical knowledge is not confusing two very simple truths lost among the wealth of other good information provided in the Christian bible.
I know this about Jesus: I know that He came here roughly 2,000 years ago and left us with a couple of directives. He said, and I’m paraphrasing because I wasn’t there when He said it, “Love each other and follow Me.”
Love. Each. Other.
If you know nothing else about Jesus, know that. He said a lot of other great things, too, about worrying and trusting and His Father’s plans for me (yadda, yadda), but the love each other and follow Him part has helped to answer a very big question that surfaced after I’d been on earth about 39 years.
If birds of a feather flock together, my Facebook page is dominated by Christian Republican Fiscal Conservatives. Who write. And haunt. Therefore, my eyes are inundated daily with reminders about abortion, prayers, gay marriage, and our president’s failings, and the diametrically opposite: Halloween costumes, bloody props, and the excitement of the upcoming haunted house season.
Can you say d-i-c-h-o-t-o-m-y?
Social media is important because it identifies what my friends are talking about… and it helped me discover who I am.
In 2008, when Prop 8 (the gay marriage proposition in California) was on the ballot, I voted just like my peers, and it passed. Californians, no matter how liberal we seem, did not want gay marriage. My friends online celebrated as if we had discovered cancer’s cure. I read their status updates with mixed emotions. Their public protestations identified them as being on the winning team, but these were people who shared my faith—Was rejoicing the right thing to do?
I didn’t know much about my religion in 2008, but I was sensitive to the alarms that went off in my belly. Something was wrong with my thinking.
It wasn’t long after the vote that I began to feel my heart change. I did not discuss this change with anyone because it was a tiny seed just beginning to grow—not yet a bud, still small and confused and not ready for scrutiny. Sort of like my Christianity—slow to grow but getting heartier and healthier with each year.
I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that the closer I get to Jesus, the clearer my beliefs are becoming. He is the farmer planting the seed, after all.
It’s now five years later and proposition 8 is before the U.S. Supreme Court, a fact I did not consider when I sat down to write this post. I don’t get behind a lot of agendas or profess my political stances. It isn’t that I don’t have an opinion; it’s that I believe everyone has a right to their opinion and would rather not subject mine to ridicule.
Instead, I’ve quietly and spiritually come to the conclusion that I love all people, regardless of who they go to sleep with at night. And I didn’t arrive here alone: my teacher, the Farmer, is cultivating something that is growing strong and powerful within me, and I know it’s healthy because I can feel Him smile at the seeds He has sown.
It is not up to me whether being gay is a sin. We all sin. It isn’t my business to judge and is the farthest concern from my mind. And I don’t believe Jesus wants me to judge it, either. Remember, He said two things: follow me and love each other. He did not say condemn, hate, judge, make war on those who are different, or be ugly. He said love. L.O.V.E.
I know that hardcore, longtime, evangelical Christians will not understand how I can feel this way. They will point to the Good Book to convince me that I’m wrong. I love them, too, but I respectfully decline their evidence for this reason: If I am in college and have a question, I’m not going to rely on another student for answers. I will go straight to the instructor to find the truth (the way, and the life).
I submit my questions to our Teacher, and His words alone are answer enough for me.