I’ve Been Quiet

I’ve been quiet, because the world is so loud. So many days I just cannot do anything more than put my hands over my ears and shut it all out.

This world where exegesis and hermeneutic and “being right “are more important than generosity and love.

A world where the decision of the Church or the Government feeding the hungry becomes intellectual and spiritual sport.

A world critical of mystical devotion of Henri Nouwen whom I revere.

A world where conviction over sexuality and what is or is not love makes people hate one another, aren’t we all God’s creatures?

A world where your or my “place” and opportunities depend on being born a boy or a girl; where little boys refuse to let a little girl play ball. just because she’s a girl.

The world, even the Church that cannot agree on much of anything.  And sometimes I think how Jesus must just weep over us all.

This world is upside down, crazy and it just makes me sad, even deeply wounded by it. 

I’ve been quiet because I have been writing. And I find that blogging makes me want more clicks, and comments, and there is never enough attention.  It feeds the part of my soul is ugly, that longs for significance.  Blogging doesn’t suit this heart .

Empty, shaken, longing for solitude, then I know.  I need more of Jesus.

I’ve been quiet because I’ve been writing and when I write I doubt.  I doubt my Call.  I doubt my talent.  I doubt that these things that tug on my heart, these words that seem so clear, that wake me up from a dead sleep, that dance around me like pixies while I mow the straight lines of the lawn, that chatter inside me telling me I’m stupid.

Yes, I’ve been quiet because when I write I doubt myself, and

this too is a challenge of a person who finds herself committed to words — to creating and giving them away.

I don’t know enough.

I don’t have a big enough audience.

I don’t say things that matter.

I don’t know much of anything.

Seeing a theme here, I, I, I, …

I get even more so — I need deep quiet.  And I know again that I need to drink from the spigot that is of forgiveness and true purpose and  being transformed.  When Jesus said “I have come” he meant  come to stay.  He’s here with us.  He’s here by my side, as I tap-tap-tap on the laptop.

More of him,

less of me.

That means deep quiet.

“Why Do You Care So Much About LGBT Issues? Are YOU queer?”

It’s an honest question, I guess.  But the implication is that in caring for friends who are gay, lesbian or bi-, or any persecuted population, there must be some underlying story.  Let’s be truly honest, at least I will be, for a moment.   And I guess I’ll generalize dangerously, but I think I’m fairly close to the truth when I say …

Some Christians don’t know how to love people that they do not like or do not understand.

They are often the ones who avoid the discomfort of being in a setting with any group that makes them feel a minority.  That is if they even think about it.

They may wrap their beliefs up in a neat and tidy box, but the fact is they are unwilling to have a friend who is queer.  I dare you to step out of your comfort zone.  And I can promise that nothing untoward will happen.  And you just might learn something about yourself.

Let’s broaden the conversation and throw out an even broader generalization but I believe that most people, Christian or not, very rarely allow ourselves to be without our power.

Perhaps unintentionally, but it rare that white people put ourselves in places where we don’t hold that (white) power.    Yeah, I’m talking about white people because being white, we have power just because of the color of our skin.  And we might be complete wing nuts, but it will stay true. Also, being straight in today’s society holds power(Being a man holds power, but that’s not the subject here I just had to say it.)

Here is the real truth.  I have someone very close to me who is bi-sexual.  This is someone who I love.  Someone that I would like to come to know the Jesus I know,the way I know him.   Someone who rejects Jesus because of reputation of “the Church” and someone who considers it evidence of bigotry that Christian’s lack love for them…

The friends and acquaintances over the years that are queer — some out and some not, but I love them.  I hurt for them.  I heart aches over the rejection and disapproval that is shown to queer people mostly by Christians.  When I picture those friends in my mind  I have to acknowledge to myself that their lives are incredibly difficult and it is mostly because our culture is so bigoted and I want to love them, take them home and care of them.  It’s the Mother in me who would adopt all these “kids” so that they’d know unconditional love.

And as for being a minority within a dominant culture, well

the little I have learned is that I have all this power that I don’t even acknowledge most of the time.

And this power makes my life so much easier than those that are not white or straight.  Most people, other than whites,  face  the biases and prejudices of the dominant culture every single day.  My culture. My people.  My tribe does this and it hurts me.

And one of my new year’s resolutions (Go ahead, check.  I wrote them down here.) was to place myself in positions where I was a minority — Whether that is my lily whiteness — or my being straight — or my being  a Christian — I want to be with other people, without my power getting in the way, so that I can learn.  I’ll become the better person for it.

So why do I care so much about friends who are LGB or T — and People who are Homeless — and People of Color — and Women ….  And generally anyone who is persecuted for something that they are, because I hope I am a bridge person in between.

I believe that this is what Jesus would want me to do.

It is as complicated and as simple as that.



I Will Not Be Silent

A Suicide Note
Image by έŁέ¢τяøиί¢ έγέ via Flickr

Five suicide deaths by students bullied because of being GLBT or Q is a tragedy — each life lost was important and significant.

Each life matters to their mother and father, family and friends.  Each person had hopes and dreams of a life of love and acceptance.  Each child deserves to feel safe at any school.

I know teachers and staff that work hard to help in Madison schools, as I saw recently with a transgender child in elementary school.

But more needs to be done.  Each and every student deserves to attend safe and welcoming schools, even in rural or more conservative towns.   They deserve to have us speak up when homophobia or bigotry occurs — whether it is seemingly innocent or blatantly malicious.

No matter your religious viewpoint about sexual orientation or gender identity – each of us in this nation should come together to agree on this fact:  Kids committing suicide is tragic and should not happen.

Eugene Cho, a pastor that I know via his blog, wrote this today:

When the issue of GLBTQ come up, it’s easier to keep the conversation about theological and biblical interpretations and well, the issue of the subject in hand but in the meanwhile, we forget there’s people behind the issues.

There’s always people behind the issues.  But regardless of interpretations and views, we should all agree: This needs to stop.  But when we are silent, we are complicit.

I implore each person reading this to speak up about this horrendous tragedy. Express how wrong it is that kids are resorting to suicide.

There is no wrong way to humbly listen and learn from a GLBTQ  friend.  Listen to them and hear their story. See them.  They could be, may be, your brother, sister, child, parent, aunt, uncle or friend who is sitting silent and afraid.  Make it safe for people to be with you.  And remember these young men:

  • Raymond Chase was 19, an openly gay sophomore studying culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. He killed himself Wednesday after a fellow student in his dorm wrote, “You are gay, get out of Barlow [Hall] before you regret it” on his dry erase board.
  • 18-year-old Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi threw himself off of the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22, after his roommate had broadcast secret video footage of his sexual encounter with another man over the Internet.
  • On Sept. 23, Asher Brown, 13, shot himself in the head at his parent’s home in Cypress, Texas.
  • On Sept. 19 in Tehachapi, Calif., 13-year-old Seth Walsh hanged himself from a tree and died Tuesday after nine days of life support.
  • 15-year-old Billy Lucas of Greensburg, Ind., also took his own life earlier in the month.

My heart is heavy tonight.


GLBTQ issues In the News: http://www.glaad.org/bestandworst