Me during a conversation about gender & sexuality issues (not really in my cis-gender WASPy wheelhouse) with an old friend who doesn’t “get it.”
Me: “Do you know how an ignition switch works?”
Him: “Not really”
Me: “Yet you use it every day, and you trust that it works?”
Me: “Well, it’s kind of that.”
Him: “But I can find out how that works”
Me: “True, but you trusted it to work for years without knowing.”
Him: “But I can find out, and then I’ll know.”
Me: “Right, talk to an expert, look it up on line, if you care you can learn right?”
Him: “Right, so it’s different.”
Me: “Not really – If you care enough to learn about it, talk to some experts, you can learn about people who are LGBTQ and then you’ll have an idea of how that works too.”
Him: “And you’ve done this?”
Me: “Not as much as I should, but like the ignition switch, I know that it’s more complicated than I think. But once I accept the fact that it works, I can care more about the whole car.”
Me: “I care more about the whole person than just worrying about what turns them on.”
Him: (laughs) “Fine, but what about the people that switch genders.”
Me: “Hey, I used to be a Ford guy and you were a Chevy-head. But now I drive a Subaru.”
Him: “Yeah, I’m still a Chevy guy.”
Me: “Hey man, whatever turns you on… Did I tell you I just bought a motorcycle?
Him: (expletive deleted)
Me: (explained my decision, price-style-etc. especially the “dirt look”)
Him: “I guess you got the right bike for you.”
Me: “Yeah, can’t buy a bike because of some one else’s opinion. Have to get the one that fits me.”
Him: “Yeah, but still, I like that low and slow chromed out full-fender fat-boy look.”
Me: “Yeah, that’s not me – I guess you could say I’m trans-fendered.”
Him: “You (expletive deleted)
Me: (laughing) “Yeah but you love me anyway”
Him – more cursing
And that’s how I know he’s thinking about it. He’s trying to figure out how to deal with a family member struggling & accepting a lifestyle he doesn’t understand. But we may NEVER understand. But we cis-gendered WASPy folks can care more than ‘know’ and that’s the point. We are incapable of “hating the sin and loving the sinner” because we are still putting ourselves in a position of pridefully judging ourselves “better” & that.ain’t.love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
So – If you find yourself lacking understanding, struggle to love anyway. Put down the pride and protect those struggling with identity and sexuality, trust that God is working within them, hope it doesn’t take long to resolve, but even if the struggle changes – persevere in love. Don’t let your love fail. And remember, when God works, it may not be the outcome we thought we wanted, but it may be the outcome God foresaw and worked toward.
Too many of my friends have self-medicated with drugs & alcohol, committed suicide, been turned away from churches, family and friends – been denied love, while struggling to find where God is in their lives.
So let us each be a representative of God’s love and Love our neighbors, our family members, our friends, because be they gay, straight, lesbian, pansexual, monosexual, asexual, transgendered, cis-gendered, non-gendered, trans-fendered… THEY are US.
Let us trade in our ignorance (lack of understanding) and our hard-hearts (lack of caring) for the bold and persevering love modelled for us in Christ.
“Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”
And if you are so ignorant, so prideful, so vain to be sure you know the mind of God to the degree of condemning one of God’s children, throw that rock my way, and I’ll do my best to keep from returning it tenfold – because I’m called to love you too.
Loving people I agree with – that’s easy.
Loving people you can’t agree with?
And that’s why it’s hard on “both” sides.
And that’s why most people don’t try.
But that’s how God loves us. All of us. In our pride, in our ignorance, in our contraryness… It’s as if God said, “I have the key, I turn the lock, I ignite the spark, that triggers the battery to turn the starter to…” You get it right?
We’re not the driver – we’re the car, or the bike. Different brands, different makes, different models, some built for hauling rocks, some for hauling… other things. Different colors, Made in different countries, changing over time. Getting broken, the occasional dent, dirty, scratched up – some of develop smells… And all of us end up totalled (but some donate their parts). But we’re all made by God.
Love is the key.
The Spirit is the fuel.
The scriptures are the map.
And God guides us on the road.
Stop being a pothole.
Stop being a STOP sign.
Stop trying to be a member of the highway patrol trying to enforce the law when God is driving.
Just let God open up the throttle and love.
Don’t put the brakes on God’s love and mercy.
Let God be in control & you’ll discover something. The road will be smooth, but it’s going to have some turns. The straights may be a measure of your strength – but God works best in the turns.