I have a friend. I mean, I have several friends, but I have a certain friend who is much younger than myself, I think he must be around 20. TheClone brought him home from school to me one day, and I just love this young man to pieces. He comes around and hangs with the kids, he stays for dinner, he calls me Mary Poppins, and I call him Micheal, and it’s just a good thing. And remember, TheClone left over a year ago.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago he ended up spending the night here and going to church with us. Wearing his big black clothes and his fierce facial piercings. And I proudly sat there with my children, including this one, and then for just a moment, I stepped out of myself and I looked at it. And there were several, several lessons there in church that morning, none of which had much to do with what Pastor was saying. God is like that sometimes, just puts the rubber down right there in your road, yk?
See, my friend, he is gay. A *gasp* ho-mo-sex-you-ul. (Or at least he was gay?? He recently brought a girl over here for me to meet, LOL). That’s sin. There’s no painting it a different color, sin is sin, and engaging in homosexual activity is sinful. But you know what else? Engaging in heterosexual erotic activities without being married is sin, too. You know what else? Yelling at my kids is also sin. And so is breaking the speed limit. And gluttonous eating. And saying “Oh My God” every other sentence. And worrying about tomorrow instead of taking care of today. It’s all sin, and while I may not be gay, and I may not be sleeping around, I sure do all of that other stuff. Except the “Oh My God” part. And yet, God loves even me.
I also have a cousin who is gay. He and his husband have recently adopted a young child. That’s kinda freaking me out a little bit. OK, a lot. I’m not good with my cousin. I disapprove of his lifestyle and so I mostly ignore him and his fella at family events. As if my haughty attitude could change the situation. That’s not my job. My job, given to me from Christ, is to love people. All people. Right where I find them. Right where He first loved me. In fact, my bad attitude may have cost me the only opportunity I would ever have to advocate for this child and against this adoption. I’ve been so unloving that my opinion isn’t sought or trusted.
And what’s the difference between my friend and my cousin? I took the time to look beyond my friend’s gayness and get to know him, but I couldn’t be bothered to do the same for my cousin. O-U-C-H. Lord, forgive me for being so hard-hearted! It is all sin, and I am guilty indeed.
And getting to know “Micheal” has made another difference, too. I mentioned he went to church in his big black clothes and fierce facial piercings. It wasn’t until I looked at all of us from the outside that I realized he might look just a little bit scary. He’s tallish, and broadish, and he wears black and has a ring in his eyebrow, ya’ll. But I’ve also seen him when he wasn’t quite so tall and broad, wearing tye-dyed pastels, and three or four different incarnations of hair.
I know he isn’t scary, because I know him. I’ve invested time in him. Just like God knows that I am not always what I appear to be on the outside. The difference is that my outside looks pretty good. But the inside, it sometimes wears a lot of black and has fierce facial piercings.