Random Pontifications About Missed Opportunities

My heart has been burdened today. I’ll explain why in a moment, but first let me tell you a simple story from today.

I read a sentiment from a Christian acquaintance earlier that started by saying they feel the same way about heterosexual fornication as they do homosexual fornication (that it’s a sin) but I didn’t know them well enough to ask about if marriage allows for protection of a sexual relationship in the church like it does with a heterosexual couple. This acquaintance wrote A LOT about the subject but it was like reading a theoretical physics essay as it relates to string theory – it went WAY over my head. The general gist that I gathered was that it was anti-gay marriage, but it’s hard to tell the specifics of the debate/discussion because it dealt a lot with matters of the church WAY beyond my knowledge or level of understanding.

But it had me thinking…are there any fundamentalist Christians who believe strongly that ALL fornication is a sin, but that marriage protects homosexual couples as well as heterosexual couples? Because I think I would kinda love that. Love that a fundamentalist would take the anti premarital-sex of the bible very seriously, but allow it to apply to all couples, no matter their gender. Is there anyone who believes that way? I’d kinda of love it if there was.

But that was not what burdened me.

I was burdened because I realized I’ve come a long way in the way I handle the anti-marriage equality community around me, especially when it pops up on Facebook.

And I have a lot of hurt in my heart for the ways I’ve handled conflict in the past.

When I read this acquaintance’s post I considered messaging him, but I’m really not sure we know each other well enough for that. But, I considered it because recently I did message someone I’d call a friend, just to tell her my own personal story as it relates to the LGBTQ community and how that had me disagreeing with an anti-marriage equality sentiment she had posted. I opened my heart and just let her see inside and hoped for the best and she received it openly and while she doesn’t agree with me, I felt much better about the interaction than I did years ago when I simply unfriended someone for a similar (although a lot more hateful) sentiment.

I was proud of that moment. Proud of that interaction. Proud of the steps I took to maybe show someone the other side of the story with a more personal note.

And today I wondered about doing the same with the acquaintance, but never considered unfriending him.

Yet I carry the burden of the person (also an acquaintance at the time) that I unfriended in the past.

I’m not sure what I should do. The person is still an acquaintance, but our circles overlap often and I enjoy greeting them with a smile and enthusiasm when we see each other, almost in an effort to undo what I might have done with the unfriending.

My heart is burdened because – how am I supposed to change minds if I just close myself to them all together?

I guess I’m just disappointed in my past self. Disappointed that I didn’t take the chance to at least explain my hurt over the statement they posted.

My personal stories might not change anyone, but at least it opens the door to show people the other side of the story. If I just slam the door in their face, there’s no hope for any wisdom to be gained.

4 Comments

  • Holly

    This subject is weighing on my mind today, too. I teach a reading intervention class for at-risk high schoolers. My journal prompt for today was to write about what makes you mad. A student whom I love said, “Gay people make me mad. I hate gay people. They are so gross.” My heart just sank. Nothing I said got through to him and now my whole opinion of him has shifted. This is my 2nd year teaching him and it just breaks my heart to see this side of him. And to realize we aren’t as evolved as I thought. šŸ™

  • Ebeth

    Standing up for what we believe is hard, especially if the other person is seemingly confrontational. Perhaps you made the best choice you could, in that moment in time , given what was going on in your life. It is much easier for me to express my point of view when I feel someone is listening to me or will have, maybe not an open mind, but at least a non-judgemental one. I feel like speaking my mind has come with age. I even hear 40 is the age I am supposed to stop caring about what others think of me. Hooray! What I really wanted to say though is how awesome I think it was you talked to someone directly and not openly in social media . I think it always helps when two people can discus something one on one, without an audience.

  • Cara

    I suspect David Gushee might be the fundamental Christian you’re looking for. He recently announced a changed view on LGBT relationships, and with his views historically so fundamental I would be surprised if he approves of sexual relationships outside of marriage. (Though, heterosexual relationships outside marriage are generally tolerated with nothing more than a frown these days, and I think he wants the same for LGBT.)

  • Lisa!!

    Sweet Sister, I hate that your heart is heavy but I love that you shared a very intimate piece of your heart with that friend. I’m a firm believer that people can deal with honesty. I say that all the time. And Chris always says hard on the issue, soft of the person. I also believe that people can genuinely change. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a number of people in my church circle about my beliefs and even shared family experiences. It truly does make a difference… and little by little people start to see how normal being gay is and how it’s not taboo. Every single person deserves respect and honor…those who are gay and even those who are learning to be open to LGBT. Small things can make big differences… Love and HUGS!!