Thursday, May 19, 2011

pondering orientation

I just finished an amazing book, Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin. Recommend 100 times over. But be warned: if you're looking for litmus test answers to closed-ended questions, you'll be frustrated. And rightly so (meaning, you should be frustrated because those questions are frustrating and not helpful). If you're looking to learn about incarnational Kingdom living, about reconciliation, about love lived out, by all means, read this book.

This book is not about trying to save gay people from their gayness and it's not about trying to convince Christian people that it's not sinful. It's not trying to do either. It's about reconciliation and it's about encouraging all people to come to know their Father's love - reconciled to Him, reconciled to one another.

It's beautiful. Truly beautiful. The author is transparent and raw and in doing so says things that I'm sure he catches a lot of flack for. And that's why it's so good. We have to be real with each other, in order to be trusted and trustworthy.

A couple of other things have made me go "Hmm..." on this topic lately...

The first, found and shared by my brilliant husband:

Tattoo of Leviticus 18:22, which forbids homosexuality: $200.

The fact that Leviticus 19:28 forbids tattoos: Priceless.

This is the kind of crap we're known for, folks. Seriously.

We're also known for doing this to people. Read it and let yourself feel the pain she so hauntingly, beautifully expresses.

How do we undo that? How do we earn the right to even say a simple "God loves you" when people use the same book we do to justify holding signs that say "God hates you". Is there any way around this divide?

Of course there is. And Jesus showed us what it is. Read Philippians 2. That's it. That's always it. All the time. Humility.

How am I trying to live that? I can't immerse myself in Boystown, Chicago like Andrew Marin. I'm a stay at home Mom with 4 kids. But I can read Stranger at the Gate by Mel White and put myself in his shoes. I can watch the It Gets Better videos, especially the one put out by the Pixar staff. I can force myself to set aside any - ANY - preconceived notions as I hear their stories.

I can watch it from 5:20-5:45 over and over.

And over again.

And cry with him. (I did precisely that)

There's so much I don't know. But I know some things. I know we are all sinners. I know He's particularly fond of sinners and that He's come to reconcile us. I know that is Good News! I know God wants each of us to turn our faces to Him in an unconditonal, "Yes!" and I know that as we do He guides, convicts, and teaches us, each of us. I know that in community with other believers, we grow and learn and sharpen one another. I know that the mark of our Love for Him is our Love for One Another.

All this informs the way I relate to others and the unique paths they walk. My friend who considers herself a former lesbian, who now lives a life of celibacy? I love her. I respect the change she made based on what she believes God has shown her, for her life. And my friend who is madly in love with her girlfriend? I love her. I respect what she believes God has shown her, for her life, and admire the way she lives generously, honestly, compassionately, showing others infinitely more grace than is shown to her in return. I love them both.

Some want me to insert my opinion into my friends' experiences. My judgement. They demand it, in fact.

But I cannot.

It's not in me.

I guess that's just not my orientation.

1 comment:

christina britt lewis said...

gay is the black of our generation, seems to me. our civil rights moment. our time to make the world a better place. one day most christians will look back on this time in history with shame. but not you. you are a freedom fighter. you are our here and now MLK. you are our here and now Jesus.