"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In my heart, I've always known that God is a God of Love. That at its core, the Bible preaches Love—a hand for the downtrodden, glory for the cast-asides, another chance for your enemies, and boundless, difficult Love.
Here we are, all of us, formed perfect by a Loving hand.
Still, when I write about religion, mostly I sit in front of a blank screen with my cursor blinking back and forth. My faith is personal and I'm not fully formed, so I've been quiet. It's taken a long time for me to sit here in front of you, coming out as an ally.
I've been quiet because I haven’t had to speak up.
I am straight. I haven't had to sit down and have difficult conversations with my family members, or worry about being bullied by my peers or my faith community. For me, it has been enough that I treat my gay friends as unbroken and wholehearted, and that my church is tolerant. It's enough, right? It's enough.
In the moment that I saw this quote from Dr. King,—and oh, the beauty of God finding us in the right moment—I was rationalizing my silence about God, homosexuality, and radical acceptance into a lovely little present of non-judgment.
But my silence wasn't a gift. It was a way to share part of myself with the world, but not all of me. It was part of a lifelong fear of conflict and a desire to keep everyone happy. And who am I if not the broken, but perfect child of God?
It started with a tweet or two about #faith, #equality, and #LGBT; then a post about a new scouting movement that embraces all people. And then, Here I Am.
Here I am, God—years after liking Believe Out Loud on Facebook for the first time.
I’m sharing all of who I am. And here are some things I know to be true.
- LOVE is the core of everything. All caps, radical, boundless love. Some love is easy—our souls want it and want to give it. Some love is hard—loving our enemies, sometimes ourselves, often those who are different from us.
- God is the only one to judge. We are all walking this earth doing the best we can, trying to blow oxygen on the fire of goodness inside us, and nothing we do here is good enough for salvation but through God’s grace and His alone. So we should probably be careful about condemning people.
- Sins are a choice. Adultery is a choice. Greed is a choice. Being gay or queer is not a choice. Who would choose it? It's difficult. It sets you apart. It subjects you to ridicule. It marks you as other. But not for things that eat away at your soul or destroy your relationships or tie you to money and greed—but for being who you are and searching for Love.
So here I am, God—coming out as an ally to the LGBT community.
Knowing that there's just no way my soul can be right with itself, except by your radical, boundless Love.