I’m at the grocery store last week and notice a guy giving me “the look” …
then he wants to make small talk (noteworthy: we were not amongst the fruits and vegetables)…
my intial reaction is to be uncomfortable…
next, I want to scream at the top of my lungs “HEY, EVERYBODY, I’M NOT GAY!!” I don’t want there to be any doubt in case anyone who is someone happens to be within a 1/4 mile of the incident.
Has this ever happened to you? Guys, tell the truth!
what to do…
what we really need to do is get a grip and remember this what-to-do list:
- The fact that a gay guy is attracted to you would be a compliment since gay guys are… well… attracted to attractive men. (Fortunately, God is really good at keeping my ego in check).
- I can calmly let the dude know that I’m not interested. There is no need to let everyone else within earshot know anything. Making a scene out of it only reveals my own insecurities (yep, I have them, and fortunately my sexuality isn’t really one of them).
- It’s not my place to judge others. Period. I’m supposed to emulate the love of Jesus in every circumstance, for everybody, and this one is no exception.
- Taking the love of Jesus to the next level… maybe I could change the subject and actually have a conversation with this person? (what, right here, in broad daylight? Absolutely!). Now that’ getting my Jesus on!
Would it be difficult for you to show the love of Jesus for a gay person?
I’ve been meaning to post this story here ever since I read your blog entry, sorry I’m a bit behind! This story probably has absolutely nothing to do with your post, but your post reminded me of this story – sorry, that’s just how my mind works!
In November 1995, the late Rich Mullins was in concert in Knoxville and told a story that stopped this writer in his tracks. Richâ€™s story was later recounted in the June 1997 edition of CCM magazine that was devoted to AIDS, Christian artists and the church.
Rich said he befriended a man at a steakhouse while hiking along the Appalachian Trail. As darkness fell, the man (whom the magazine refers to as “John) offered Rich a ride back to his campsite. As the truck pulls out of town, John speaks up.
John: I probably oughta tell you that Iâ€™m gay.
Rich: I probably oughta tell you that Iâ€™m a Christian.
John: Well do you want to get out of the truck?
Rich: No. Itâ€™s still getting dark, and (my camp) is still four miles up the road.
John: But I thought Christians hated gays.
Rich: Thatâ€™s really weird. My understanding of what Christ told us was that Christians were to love. I didnâ€™t know there were a lot of parameters set on that.
John: I thought God hated gays.
Rich: Thatâ€™s funny, because I thought God is love, and He has no choice but to love because that is what He is.
John: Do you believe AIDS is Godâ€™s punishment on gays?
Rich: Well possibly, in the same sense that presidents are Godâ€™s punishment on voters. I mean there are consequences. We make choices, and there are natural consequences for those choices.
John: Will I go to hell for being gay?
Rich: (I was ready to go, “Well, yes, of course, youâ€™ll go to hell for being gay.” But that was one of those moments when the Good News really impressed me. What I heard myself say was …) No, of course you wonâ€™t go to hell for being gay any more than I would go to hell for being dishonest. The only reason anybody ever went to hell was because they rejected the grace that God so longed to give them.
John: I grew up in the church, and Iâ€™ve never heard anybody say that God loved me.
Rich: I think that of all the diseases in the world, the disease that all humankind suffers from, the disease that is most devastating to us is not AIDS, itâ€™s not gluttony, itâ€™s not cancer, itâ€™s not any of those things. It is the disease that comes about because we live in the ignorance of the wealth of love that God has for us. What a great message we in the church have. Itâ€™s relevant to people with AIDS and people without AIDS. Itâ€™s relevant to homosexuals and homophobes. Itâ€™s relevant to Republicans and Democrats, to abortionists and anti-abortionists. Itâ€™s relevant across the board.
As Rich finished the story at Knoxville Civic Auditorium on that fall night, I could not help but look around and expect to see youth pastors quickly ushering their kids out the door. Instead, I saw people intently listening to this tale of grace.
Now, nearly 20 years after â€œDo You Feel Their Pain?â€ and 10 years after Rich told that story in Knoxville, it remains â€œnewsâ€ when a large number of churches decide to minister to those who are battling AIDS.
To be sure, there are those already involved in such ministry, in some manner or fashion, and for that we give God the glory.
But May God have mercy on the rest of us when we are selective in which least, last and lost we choose to serve.
wow, thanks for sharing this Denise… LOVE it (very real and relevant) !! 🙂
Landed here from your LinkWithin, and so glad for it! i love your to-do list as well as the story Denise shared above. I was in high school when the whole “AIDS is God’s Plague On The Gays” thing was running rampant, and i almost got thrown out of my sunday school class for announcing “then lesbians must be God’s Chosen because they’re the lowest risk group…”
I’m a lot more liberal on this topic than most Christians I know, and my struggle has never been how to relate/respond to the person who happens to be gay (as several friends and family members in my life are), but how to respond to the Christian who spews hate and judgement about those who are gay (or Democrat, or anything else that’s not ConservativeWhiteBibleBeltBeieveAsIDoChristian). Those people have pushed too many people away from Christ in the name of Religion, and they do not represent what Jesus was all about. that’s what makes my blood boil.
I haven’t read this by Denise for a while now so I am glad that you brought my attention back here Christine.
Being in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s pretty much it. There’s really no need to further complicate our religion.