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.