“Just because we don t understand doesn’t mean that the explanation doesn’t exist.” – Madeleine L’Engle
As has happened several times in my AN52 experience, the end of the week rolled around & I still wasn’t quite certain as to what my project would be. I was super swamped this week (Thursday was an 16-hour workday), but I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t acknowledge my penchant & proclivity for procrastination (& altogether avoidable alliteration). Lights were beginning to flash “Red Alert” as Saturday had arrived & was slipping by hour by hour when, as they’re wont to do, things just worked out.
A college friend had invited me to have lunch with her & a couple of local friends since she’s leaving soon to serve as a missionary in South America. I was a little late, as usual, but she reassured me that she that it was fine, she was still waiting on another mutual friend of ours. When our friend finally showed up, he had brought his boyfriend with him.
Now, I don’t always pick things up, because my brain is usually busy being entertaining, but when our friend started talking, he mentioned getting a marriage license & traveling to Iowa or California somewhere & I slowly began to understand the situation. Just to clarify, before today, I did not know this guy was gay (we knew each other from college, but hadn’t been in touch for several years). I had met his partner before, but he had never been introduced as his significant other.
Homosexuality is not something that I have been hugely exposed to on a personal level & thoughts along the line of, How should I react? Should I say something? What’s the best thing for me to do in this situation? immediately began racing through my head. Christian & homosexual subcultures have been battling back & forth for at least the last decade in a complicated blend of agendas, social acceptance & buzzwords, but as to what overall answers &/or guidelines on day-to-day behavior have been produced, I cannot say.
As a Christian, Jesus calls me to love & love fiercely & that is something I strive to do, but haven’t quite figured out yet. As my friend & his partner were with us at the table, I thought of how my disagreement with how they had chosen to live their lives wasn’t going to change their minds or save their souls. The idea that silence is consent played through my brain, but I also knew that that these men were not asking for or needing my consent. The only thing that I could accomplish with my time with them was to reach out to them as I try to do with everyone whom I encounter & to interact with them in a way that says, I value you. That’s it. No “Come to Jesus” moment or deep, philosophical talk on why they are homosexual or how it’s wrong or why they should care. Just, “What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you at work?” & “My nickname in high school was Tooters” & crazily enough, I left the table with a peace about our time together. Maybe I had failed & maybe I didn’t do all that I could have. But I’ll cling to love, as imperfect of a handle that I have on it, & do my best to heed the Spirit’s guidance the next time I meet another person who’s just like me—messed up & loved outrageously by the God who holds all hearts.
If that’s not intentional enough of a AN52 thing for you, I also tried beef tongue today, something I have never done before. While I didn’t have a problem with the taste (reminded me of pork chops), it’s not a dish I anticipate returning to (eating something with taste buds just throws me off) in the future.