Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

Inside the House

Posted on: April 4, 2008

Today is the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s death. I can remember exactly where I was standing when I heard about it. I can also remember the reaction of those in the Deeper South a few weeks later. We lived in the South, but were in the Deeper for a visit with friends. I helped my teen peers babysit, and we were miles away from the grown-ups. You see, LBJ had declared four Sundays after MLK’s death as a time of mourning. Well, in the Deeper South they didn’t like it when that preacher honored the President’s request. And we were babysitting for the preacher on a Saturday night.

Have you ever been terrorized by the KKK? We were that night. And because it was a tiny community, those terrorists had to know the preacher wasn’t at home. It didn’t matter to them, they just had an agenda of harassment. I felt threatened, but looking back I also didn’t feel like waving a white flag for my safety. I think I knew we had to protect the children and stand up for what is right in our simple teen way.

Well, digressing a bit, but along this same plane I just saw Now I Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. I can see how this movie would upset my fellow conservatives. But most don’t understand what it feels like to be “inside the house”.  

Chuck & Larry is a very real look at how non-affirming straight people react to gay people. For those who haven’t seen the movie, it is about straight men who “marry” to get insurance benefits. Their friends start shunning them. 

I’m not LGBTQ in any way. However, back in 2000 when I began associating with the gay Christians the same sort of Chuck & Larry scenario happened to me—and there aren’t enough adjectives to describe the pain, shock and feelings of betrayal that surfaced because of my Christian friends who thought I was “listening to the devil” or “being deceived” or even in sin for taking communion with these gay people. And I started being shunned.

I discussed this in some of my original blogs. I only went to meet an author, and I wanted him to associate my face with our e-mails. I tried to find him a day earlier at the local gay bookstore, but I couldn’t find the bookstore. Now I know it was God that kept me from finding the bookstore. It was my destiny to go to that gay conservative Christian church. And it was their destiny, too. The LGBT church members were abuzz with “why does a straight woman and her children visit this church?” They decided they needed to accept anyone who came through the door. I felt like I needed to make a return visit. In the meantime I started geting ultimatums from my conservative friends…

Those ultimatums felt like the night I was babysitting at the preacher’s house. I decided that I wouldn’t let people harrass me. In fact one of the things I asked the Lord was to let me feel the rejection that gay persons feel from the straight, conservative Christian crowd. God answered immediately and I felt totally rejected. I felt like Larry (in the movie) being asked to not come on a camp out or Chuck not having anyone to play basketball with anymore. I couldn’t believe that same people who had sought my advice for years were suddenly giving me ultimatims to “return” to the church and get my life right. And in the midst of all of that I knew I needed to stay in the house. I wanted to learn…

I learned more than I bargained for when I went to that church on May 21, 2000. My daughters and I had a pact to rush in, talk and leave. I just wanted to talk with a man for a moment— AND THEN God gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. He opened doors of understanding of where my straight community needs to wake up. The first awakening issue is this: gay people are people. They bleed blood and cry tears. Their hearts break when they can’t spend holidays with their families or they are asked to leave home because of their orientation. And God is very sad when we can’t see the pain for the rules—church rules, neighbor rules, whatever rules.

God has heard the cry of their heart…why can’t we? Why are we conservatives on the outside of their heart saying hurtful things in the name of Jesus. Don’t you know that He is right there with them? And Jesus wonders why when he died for our sins that we can’t remember to extend grace…period…extend grace. Live by grace, eat by grace, walk by grace…. to be continued….

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: