In the last few days a story has circulated in the Christian world. Popular Christian mom blogger Glennon Doyle Melton announced her engagement to soccer star Abby Wambach by saying, “Abby and I have decided to hold hands forever. Love Wins,”.
Under normal circumstances this wouldn’t even be a blip on my radar. It landed to full screen this afternoon. I make no secret of the fact that I am devoutly Roman Catholic. I see, live and observe everything through that prism. I scanned the commentary that was left on the posts surrounding the story and I was struck by the lack of compassion. These people who proclaim themselves Christians sound and look like Pharisees to me.
Every human being is called to receive a gift of divine son/daughter, to become a child of God by grace. Abby was married and is now divorced. There were obviously issues in the marriage that led to the end of it. Her husband genuinely seems happy to see his wife happy. She has now chosen to be in a relationship that gives her the support she needs.
Pope Francis recently urged priests around the world to be more accepting of gays and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people living in what the church considers “irregular” situations.
“A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws … as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives, By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth,” – Pope Francis
Most of us, myself included have same sex relationships amongst our families and friends. We have seen the people around us become better people because they have been engaged in embracing who they truly were.
That requires Christian compassion. That is an absolute. That is nor a negotiable.
Scripture says, in Corinthians 13: 13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
We are called to love. That love is absolute no matter the state of life that person is in. In our world that is bereft of love and compassion, someone finding love and being able to praise our living God should be commended not scolded.
The fact that this is still a hot topic discussion is disturbing and puzzling to me. I would never trade away the GLBT folks in my community ever. They have fought for me and with me under the most stressful of situations. I have close friends whose love inspires me to still believe in love. I have one friend who is doing more to change the world than I have ever seen. He lives his life out loud and his husband is an amazing man who made me dream again.
How than, must a Christian, Catholic or person of faith deal with the topic?
The answer is quite simple – human beings have a choice whether or not to show compassion, love and understanding toward others. When we show true compassion, we can make tremendously positive differences in the world. Where compassion and willingness to understand and others is absent, there is a sense of hurt and a longing for love and acceptance. This ultimately appears in a physical form of negativity, including hatred and violence. You must reject the negativity and propagate the love.
Unjust discrimination, persecution or alienation of anyone in the GLBT community is unacceptable. To demonstrate acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with someone, rather you accept someone out of respect for the dignity of that individual’s humanity. It means the simple recognition and appreciation for our differences.
It means loving them as a child of God and as a human being. I serve a God that calls me to serve and love all.