I'm not making a political or a religious statement. I sorta think there's a few too many of those running around anyway. I'm just gonna tell a story.
I can't imagine how difficult it must be to be gay in the "buckle of the Bible belt". It was difficult enough for me as a "good christian" growing up there, trying to make sense of all the rules and regulations that the church provided. But I guess there's a certain sense of safety in following a set of guidelines that are prescribed to get you where you want to go, and get you out of where you don't want to go. You know like how if you follow the speed limit you won't get sent to jail for speeding?Unfortunately, I'm not really sure anymore that it works like that.
I used to be the most black and white thinker; just like my dad. His initial view of homosexuals would have made the most conservative right winger proud. I'm not sure exactly how he started changing, but I think that it began with his two gay neighbors. And maybe the fact that they became humans, and friends, not just another statistic. I wonder if they were cautious about the two christians that moved in next door. After all, they must have felt the sting of our religious fervour at some point in their lives.
I think it's ironic that two men in a group of people most stigmatized by the church, lived next to a man who also began to feel the sting of rejection, from his own people, as the disfigurement from his cancer grew.
I love these men because they are the backs that carried my dad to the emergency room as he was dying. They are the ones who took care of the little details that death demands, and made a wall around my mom to protect her from prying questions. They sat with me on the front stoop and never once offered a hollow sounding cliche because they were angry and sad too. They are the ones who didn't fade quickly back into their normal lives, because it was their loss too. And they whispered...let us know what we can do, because we would do anything, anything, for your parents. And they meant it, because they treasured the love my parents had given them.
I've been asked if I was angry at God. And I'm not. Because In the midst of darkness and rejection, I've seen His relentless pursuit to give Grace. I saw Jesus myself, that day my dad died, through the hands of two gay men.
So y'all can fuss and carry on, boycott and whatever else. But I'm thinking that it might be missing the point. Maybe the point that a front porch view and a knock on a neighbor's door give you. The point that Grace is not exclusive and Love really does transcend all boundaries.