Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just As We Are

Just as I am;
thy love unknown
has broken every
barrier down...

This week, members of the Equality Ride – - were arrested in Palm Beach, Florida. After being told they were “unwanted guests” and would be arrested if they crossed the line and trespassed, five members crossed that line. These people, traveling across our country to colleges and universities in order to seek justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, in the spirit of the Freedom Rides in the 1960s, continue to cross that line.

In the one and only vice-presidential debate, both candidates quickly said that they considered marriage to be between “one man and one woman,” before going into subtle differences on what “rights” same-sex couples were entitled to in this country. Two straight people talking about what should be given to – and taken away from – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the United States.

In mainline Protestant Christian denominations, a continuing debate on sexuality rages, deciding about the fate of our LGBT partners in the faith, often talking about them, instead of to and with them.

And these Equality Riders – one of whom is a dear friend of mine from college, Lauren Parke – walk across the line, singing “Just As I Am.” I’ll never know that kind of courage. This act, to me, defines 'faith.'

Recently “National Coming Out Day” was celebrated by many people close to me. Many people God has called, to the ministry, to the Equality Ride…and to simply living life just as they are.

And I continue on my internship in this place, working toward what I feel God has called me – rostered leadership in the church. Do I have the courage to ‘come out’ as an ally? Do I have the faith to affirm that God loves all people? These are questions that continue to, rightly, follow me wherever I go.

An ally who knows what it means to ‘come out,’ and who has been spending years speaking out for God’s radical love, is another dear friend, David Weiss. (Check out his exquisite book on this subject –

Lauren and David inspire me in their love and longing for justice in this world. I can only hope that this justice wins out. It’s going to take a lot of work from us in the church. I feel it’s what we’ve been called to do. God’s final answer to God’s people is yes. Justice will prevail. Truly, if God is for us, who can be against us?

God's unknown love has broken down barriers, and will continue to do so.