With all of the current discussion around marriage equality, I broke one of my personal rules – to not get involved in political discussions on FB. And I dipped my toe in. And then I was shocked when the universe didn’t stop in awe at my wisdom, delivered in the form of a witty quip, and lay the argument to rest.
People kept on talking.
And a lot of it was unkind. Which I find offensive.
And I have been sorely tempted to unfriend.
There is an inner tension that I live with. And am becoming quite comfortable living with.
I face it occasionally with my friends.
I face it daily with my children.
I face it hourly with myself.
(I’m leaving Dreamboat out of this one. You can decide if it’s because he’s perfect, or if it’s because I think he needs such frequent intervention.)
It’s the balance between showing absolute love, and conforming to absolutes.
When should I just love on my kids? And when should I correct them, and help make sure the consequences are understood for a poor decision?
When should I just lovingly accept my friends? And when should I ask a carefully worded question to encourage them to look at another perspective?
When should I gallantly forgive myself and move on? And when should I bring myself to task and humbly review a pattern of poor behavior?
I think that most of the time, when I feel the internal tension rising up, I listen to that small voice inside to guide me. I’ve learned to trust myself about when to speak up. (Well, most-of-the-time. Now that-I’m-over-40. And what people think of me has lost its hold. And I’ve got plenty of wisdom-producing-battle scars-of-life that are worth sharing). Because, speaking up can be loving too. It can deepen the beauty and safety and joy.
I think living with the tension of those two, seemingly opposing forces, is a good thing.
Sadly, I think most of the American Christian “church”, has lost the balance. Instead of focusing on hunger, poverty, unwanted children, and other social issues that need their absolute love, the church is focused on enforcing correction, in a legal arena. And, while doing so, it has not been loving. It has driven people away.
Which I find sad.
No wonder people don’t want to embrace God with that kind of representation. I wouldn’t. It’s not how I want to be treated, and it’s not how I want to treat others–even those people that just really rub me the wrong way. Where is the small voice inside the church, guiding on when and how to speak-up? Where is the safety? The joy? The beauty? The love?
I think of my friends who secretly and openly love. I think of each of my children, who one-day may come to me, wanting my acceptance of their love. And I forget to breathe for just a second, as my stomach does flip flops of fear. Like it does when one of them steps too close to the edge of a cliff. I see how the church will treat them. I see deep, life-threatening pain.
I am broken-hearted for those who have already struggled with acceptance, to be rejected again. This time by the church. For wanting their commitment of love to be recognized. By the government. How ironic is that??
Whether you chose to keep-quiet or speak-up (on this issue, or any other), as the tension builds in the crossroads of your relationships, imagine this scenario: What if the friend in question was your young child…Will your interaction be rehashed, with tears and tissue, on a therapist’s couch? Or lauded to their future partner, as the way to raise kids?
Then, pick accordingly.
I didn’t unfriend anyone today, at least not for how they voiced their views on marriage equality. Because if I had, I would be choosing mental blinders. I would be surrounding myself with only those who are like-minded. And I chose to be open-minded. To listen. To accept. I chose love.
But, be warned, tomorrow is another day, and I may just chose to pay the therapy fees