"Because I don't understand why it's so important that I say that." I mumbled, as I moved the crumbs into a little circle with my straw.
"Because it's SIN. Sin is important, Lauren."
The bitter edge in his voice snapped something inside of me and I slammed my hands down on the table in Panera. "I don't CARE if it's sin or if it's not! It doesn't MATTER to me. And I'm not going to say that it is or isn't because I'M NOT GOD. Even if I think it's sinful, it changes NOTHING. It makes it worse. And I can't STAND the hate in your voice."
And so ended one more stupid conversation over homosexuality. A waste of words. One more place that sin was granted more power than it ever should have been given. One more relationship strained because a well-seated self-righteousness was given more weight than grace.
Yesterday, I read Emily's words, "I cry for fear of Christians finding me and learning I had a homosexual friend who was the most Christ-like person I've ever known."
Yesterday, I tweeted "Tired of the gay community being the Christian's advanced challenge for grace & acceptance. Man looks at appearance, God looks at the heart." And was barraged by people who replied, "I don't understand" and "It's not our place to fix their problem, it's God's."
This morning I woke up to an email from a 16 year old girl who just met Jesus - and got into a fight with her Atheist parents over homosexuality at the breakfast table. She was searching for someone else to defend her desire to love unconditionally and without question.
Today I sit in front of Jesus and hand him a list of every man's name that I've slept with and kissed - and a face sketched for the names I don't remember. Today I sit at Jesus' feet with an entire book filled with every lie I've ever told and every hateful comment I've ever made.
Today I sit in the dirt, unable to see Jesus' ripped flesh on the cross through my tears. Knowing that it is for MY sins that He has endured Hell.
As I sob, I am approached by a stranger to grace who points at another man and says, "Tell me that it is sin. Tell me that his sexuality is a sin."
And I feel my soul stretch to it's breaking point.
I struggle to stand to my feet, with emotions I cannot distinguish raging through my veins. A jumble of fiery words tumble over one another in my mind. I want to scream, "HOW DARE YOU" to the accuser.
Instead, I stumble and fall in the arms of the other man - and cling to him for comfort. He is a man who knows what brokenness feels like. He is a man who has been trying since the day he was born. He is a man with his own pain-filled list of lovers. We are men and women who have become brand new and beloved, at the foot of the cross.
I call him brother. Because he is.
And together we are a broken generation of children who stand in the face of the accuser, so desperately needing a Father who refuses to look at our physical bodies and looks only at our hearts.
"When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony of God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that you faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power." II Corinthians 2:1-4
"I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that there be no divisions among you but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought." I Corinthians 1:10
"God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; the weak things to shame the strong. God chose the lowly and despised things - so that no one may boast before him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us our righteousness, our holiness, and our redemption." I Corinthians 1:28-30
"You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat." Romans 14:10