Fag. Sissy. Bulldagger. Bull Dyke. These are words that if left unchecked, can erode the self-esteem of a same-gender loving person. When these words or hurtful phrases are spewed from the pulpit, they can cause double damage. People usually come into the church naked, with little to no barriers. We seek to commune with God, shed the toils and trials of the week and connect with our Father’s spirit. Going to church as a Gay person can feel like trying to make love wearing armor, complete with helmet. Though that may be kind of hot depending on what you’re into, the church should not be the place where armor is needed. What we need the most is a deep understanding of God’s love, of love — period. I heard somewhere that God smiles at us like a father spinning his child around in the air, laughing and delighting in us. We are to be that way with Him. His love is beautiful, warm, kind and happy. It is the enemy’s trick to make us believe that we are unworthy of God’s love. How can someone be unworthy of love? We are given love the second we come to earth. Love is the gift that we all are given by God, and the last time I checked, you can’t earn a gift. If you could, it would be a wage, not a gift. It seems hard to relate the love of a good father to a fatherless nation, but I will try my best. As a Daddy’s girl, everything that my father said or did was magic to me. I felt special because I was loved and protected by the most powerful being in my little world. When I disappointed him, I wanted to die. I felt unworthy of anything good, and when in that space I developed self-destructive behaviors to “end the problem” that was me. When he and I would slowly but surely reestablish our relationship, getting over misunderstandings, the sun would rise on my world again. The smile I gave him and the light in his eyes when I did something that pleased him was what I lived for. That is the love of an earthly father, conditional, muted and daunted by infractions. That is not the love of God. His love does not depend on what we do. Period. None of us were even alive when Jesus’ sacrifice was made. How could His love depend on the actions of people that did not exist? His love, His favor, His grace, His mercy, His peace, His provisions, His protection, His kindness, His joy, His wisdom, His guidance, His authority, His life, all of these are gifts, surrounding us with our names on it.
Just think of the biggest, mega-Christmas that you could have ever wanted as a kid. That Easy-Bake oven, that GI Joe with kung-fu grip, that Teddy Ruxpin, or that PS3, that car, whatever the toys were, think of wall-to-wall presents. Just think of the maniacal laughter you would have! I would lose it! Everything you ever wanted or needed, all around you, with the person you loved the most in this world smiling at you, because they are responsible for your joy. Well, that smiling person is God, every day you live. Your only job to unwrap your gifts! You can’t take advantage of joy if you don’t seek God’s way to get it, or ask Him to tell you/show you. You can’t use His peace if you never take it off of the shelf. Remember who you are, who He is. Once you remember, dig in the Word and pull the wrapping paper off of the billions of gifts He has for His child that He loves so much. YOU.
LGBT people have been given an opportunity that straight Christians don’t always have. We are forced outside of the mainstream and that is one of the biggest blessings we could have been given. Let me explain. The love, kindness, and community that we have, be it in a Gay family, our friends or the community at large, mirrors the unity of the first church. We live as the first church lived. We are the closest thing to what Jesus and His disciples were used to. Can you see that? Not this self-absorbed, greedy, sterile life that we are offered on a daily basis. Not sophomoric Pharisees dragging sinners from bedrooms to be stoned, No! That is not the side of the Cross we stand on. We can’t! Everyone thinks we are wrong anyway, so we are freed from the seductive comfort of fitting in. I’m not saying that Gay people don’t sin, but being Gay is not one of those sins. If God is love, and I’m in love, God is in it. Period. If the love you have with your partner is patient, kind, and fits the rest of love’s bio/job description, guess what? God is in it. God’s face smiles on us. He loves us more than we can ever imagine. Thanks to Jesus and God’s grace, nothing can separate us from that. God surrounds us like water surrounds a fish in the ocean. We can’t get away from His love, His gifts. Jesus bought them all for us. Please start unwrapping what His blood bought for you, and stop trying to change the gift of sexuality He gave you. It is there, you are here for a reason. God wants you here. You still breathe. You are made in His image. Whether the scriptures are about gang rape, temple prostitution, pederasty, lustful orgies, whatever, that has nothing to do with you, and who He made YOU to be. God is concerned with your heart. The Psalm says, “Create in me a clean heart oh God (another gift, not something you work for) and renew a right spirit within me.” A right spirit has to be there to begin with, in order to be renewed. Not right as in the religious wrong’s version of right, but upright, upstanding. Check your heart by the fruit of the spirit. Does it match those? Yes? Well get somewhere, sit down and enjoy the fruit! Every action of every second in your life cannot be sinless, even straight people sin. No one but Jesus could do that, and even he had to toss a table and cuss a tree out once. Jesus was a weird cat sometimes, but the most important thing he did was bridge the gap between you and your doting Father. No matter what you’re in, how low you feel, how detached you feel, or even if you feel fine, God is with you, hugging you and playing with your cheeks. (The top set.) Enjoy your Daddy! Stop letting these people run you away from your heavenly family! You have God’s last name now, and there is nothing you can do to lose it.