Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

Sometimes people from our past ask me if you and I are still friends. I say "Yes", and try to act as if I don't know what they really mean by this question.

I think they would like me to follow up my response with something along these lines:  

"Well, you know, I love the sinner...but of course I hate the sin."

There was a time when I would have responded with that, but the older I get the sillier that response seems. As if it is MY job or my right to offer you or anyone else grace. Or to decide what areas it is you even need grace.

There are things I am sure are wrong. Murder. Human Trafficking. Child Abuse. Lying. Stealing.

Then there are things I won't even pretend to know the answers on. I don't presume to know who you are deep inside. Genetically, emotionally, spiritually. At the end of the day, that's the most honest thing I can say. I just don't know.

So I can only act on the things I DO know.

I do know that when a group begins to act as if a personal opinion gives them the right to hate, then that's wrong.

When I act as if anyone needs me as their friend, to help them "see the light", I'm wrong.

I do know you don't need my friendship. I don't need your friendship, but I like to believe that we will continue to choose this friendship. Because you are the same hilarious person I've known since we were kids. A person who cares about their friends and family deeply, and doesn't take life too seriously.

I'm sorry that others tend to define you solely by your sexuality. For the moments early on, where I was so blindsided by that part of you, that I was no longer able to see you. A person, just like me.

I'm sorry that every time there's a natural disaster or act of inhumanity, certain groups find ways to pin that on you. If we are to believe bad things happen as a result of human brokenness then I have to believe that God is angry about a whole lot more than you. His greatest commands were to love HIM and love OTHERS. I'm sure He has a lot of questions for His followers in those areas.

Most of all, I'm sorry the church has often made you feel as if God could not love you. This is the saddest part. I mean, a God who loves us unconditionally...having very human conditions placed on that love.

I don't know how you even feel about God. I hope you know He loves you.

He loves you more than certain groups dislike you.

He loves you for the same exact reasons He loves me.

And as your friend I care today for the same reasons I cared when we were 14 years old.

Not in spite of the person you are, but because of the person you are. 

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